The Californian

Cal welcomes new principal

Christopher George takes over after Sarah Cranford leaves

Christopher+George+became+principal+last+month.+
Christopher George became principal last month.

Christopher George became principal last month.

Christopher George became principal last month.

Shirin Afrakhteh, Managing Editor

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Despite being on campus for only a few weeks, new Cal High Principal Christopher George has already been described in countless ways – driven, charismatic, and humorous, to name a few. 

But the one trait no one can argue with is his dedication. 

As the former principal at Charlotte Wood Middle School in Danville, George replaced Sarah Cranford last month after she accepted a position at the Contra Costa County Office of Education. She just began her fourth year as principal when she left on Sept. 14.

George has a couple of goals for his time at Cal. He’s focused on making sure that all students feel that their voices are heard and their needs are met.  

“I want students to know that I’m here for them,” George said in his office during his second day of working at Cal. “We’re here for students, so let me know how I can help.”

George has more plans than to simply give out lists of initiatives, and instead hopes to meet as many people as he can to begin his time here.

“I want to meet teachers, I want to meet students, and meet their parents as well… so I can understand all their needs as best as possible,” said George. 

The first thing George has noticed about Cal is the student body’s positivity. 

“[The students] are clearly committed, clearly passionate about what they’re doing, and for the most part invested in their own learning, and that’s exactly what I’m looking for,” he said.

During his time at Charlotte Wood, George became well known for creating a welcoming culture of diversity and inclusiveness. He hopes to bring and maintain that climate at Cal. 

George has been involved in several district-wide committees and initiatives, including our Homework Policy Taskforce, Special Education Task Force, and Community Action Group for Cultural Responsiveness. He’s worked on several district-wide initiatives in the past, including the Inclusive Sign Project, which focused on starting conversations about inclusiveness on campus, and maintaining those conversations long after events have passed.

George said he hopes to continue and expand that project as a part of fostering a climate of inclusion and acceptance on campus. Much of the student body is already noticing his strong character. 

“He seems very approachable and experienced,” said senior Stephanie Lau. 

Teachers are also noting his positive character. 

“He’s got an incredible sense of humor,” said AP  U.S. History teacher Scott Hodges. “He just seems like a really fantastic guy.”

The swift transition was able to happen primarily because George’s reputation as being incredibly capable and adaptable. 

“The district has great confidence in and experience with the leadership abilities of Mr. George,” deputy superintendent Toni Taylor wrote in an email to staff.

George started his career in education as a high school English teacher in Lake County, Illinois. 

George moved into an administrative position in 2001, serving as an assistant principal at Iron Horse Middle School for nine years. He was Charlotte Wood’s principal since 2010.

“I’m here to serve you, the student, as a principal,” said George. “Just let me know how I can help.”

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Cal welcomes new principal