Welcome Back Mr. Castellanos!

Jesenia Garcia, Editor in Chief

Welcome back Mr. Castellanos! Last year in July, Mr. Castellanos temporarily left the EMUHSD to pursue the opportunity to grow and learn from another district. “My goal was to develop as an administrator and practice what I preach, which is to be a lifelong learner.” However, he returned to the district this July with the goal of making this year as successful as possible for both teachers and students. Mr. Castellanos is a vital part of the community seeing as how this is his 11th year in the district and 16th year in education. 

Mr. Castellanos is the Assistant Principal of South El Monte High School. He is also currently supporting in the guidance office and activities office. “My role is to ensure that all students are provided with what they need in order to find success here at SEMHS.” He enjoys the office of Student Affairs since it allows him to connect with the students, he can contribute to the cherished core memories that they will carry with them throughout their lives. “I hope that the activities they participate in while in high school provide them with learning opportunities and chances to grow,” he adds. 

On the other hand, there are some challenges that he must face when it comes to being assistant principal of activities. “The most challenging part is the amount of activities we plan to host. This includes sports and extracurricular activities.” However, he gives all the credit to Mrs. Ayala, the Athletics Director. Not to mention the man himself, Mr. Castillo, the Activities Director. “They are responsible for all the success in that area.” 

Since he’s been back, he has begun implementing the incentive program for state testing. Students have received emails regarding qualifying for free senior sweaters, grad nite tickets, or prom tickets all based on their test score from last year. He shares some valuable advice for students, “Be patient. Too often we rush into things because we feel it is an expectation. Do things at a pace that works for you. Work hard for what you want. Always remember your purpose.” As the former journalism advisor, he cannot forget about journalism students. “Put cool things on the page. Your role as a journalist is to provide the news to our students, but to do so in an entertaining way.” It’s safe to say that if students are ever in need of some direction or advice, Mr. Castellanos is the man to go to. 

Mr. Castellanos returned to SEMHS because of the strong community that has been built throughout the years. “I love South El Monte High School because the students are welcoming, polite, and driven.” He then proceeded to mention, “Our community has a lot of school pride and there is a desire to do better.” Yet if he loves the school and district so much, then why leave just to come back? Although leaving gave him various opportunities to grow as an administrator, he did not see himself with the new district as a long term commitment. “I missed the connection I had with the students of EMUHSD. I missed the community. I missed the vision and mission our schools have and the emphasis on student success.”