Raul Guerrero comes to Calistoga after a three-year tenure as principal of Analy High School in Sonoma County. He worked for eight years as a vice principal at Analy before becoming principal. Before that, he worked for the Santa Rosa City Schools as an assistant/vice principal at Montgomery and Elsie Allen high schools, a principal at Hilliard Comstock Middle School and as summer school principal at Santa Rosa High School.
1. Who was your favorite teacher in school?
There’s a two-way tie for my favorite teacher... one was my Biology teacher, Mr. Johnson. He taught me how to be organized, take good notes, and instilled a love of learning. The other one was Ms. Stacy, English teacher, as she pushed me to see the potential that I could not see in myself at that time.
2. What was your least favorite subject in school?
My least favorite subject in school was Consumer Math. The class was not challenging and, because of that, was very boring.
3. Were you ever sent to the principal’s office? (If so, why?)
Yes, I plead the 5th.
4. Why did you want to be a principal?
I want to be an agent for change and have a positive impact on students.
5. What challenges do we currently face in education in California overall?
The achievement gap, funding formulas, and teacher pay and retention.
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6. What challenges do you see for education in Calistoga?
There is work to be done in regards to our student achievement, as it relates to standardized testing. With that said, I think our students have historically had great opportunities and preparation for options after high school.
7. What are your favorite and least favorite parts of your job?
My favorite part of the job is working with students and families. My least favorite is making budgetary decisions that affect programs and people.
8. What did you do over the summer?
Over the summer, I came in to familiarize myself with the campus and set up my office space. My family and I spent a week in New York and another week in San Diego.
9. What advice do you have for students who are sent to the principal’s office?
My advice for students that are sent to the office is, to be honest, take responsibility, and learn from your mistakes.
10. What is the biggest obstacle for high school students who struggle to graduate?
I think each student that struggles to graduate has their own “personalized” obstacle. It could range from an inability to access the curriculum due to gaps in their learning to issues related to home life. The key is to try to discover the obstacle and find ways to support the student in their graduation path.