As returning students may have noticed, the freshmen aren’t the only new faces on campus this year. CB is welcoming an almost entirely new administration, with Mr. DJ Bowen, Mr. Ramon Trejo, and Ms. Marlena Norman joining our community in their roles as Assistant Principal of Curriculum & Instruction and co-Deans of Students respectively, as […]
As returning students may have noticed, the freshmen aren’t the only new faces on campus this year. CB is welcoming an almost entirely new administration, with Mr. DJ Bowen, Mr. Ramon Trejo, and Ms. Marlena Norman joining our community in their roles as Assistant Principal of Curriculum & Instruction and co-Deans of Students respectively, as well as familiar faces like Ms. Anna Fernandez and Dr. Bill Iliff ‘76 taking on new positions as co-Assistant Principals of Student Life. Many of us have questions about the new administration: who they are, what their priorities are, why they’ve opted to emphasize rules we may not be used to seeing enforced.
While everyone I sat down with has a unique outlook on their role as an administrator, their overarching priorities are the same: they want more accountability, a safer campus, and to strengthen the CB community. As Mr. Bowen explains, they want to make sure “that some of the little things [don’t slip] through the cracks,” as they might have in years past. We’ve seen this in part with new emphasis on certain policies, like the dress code, as well as with faculty keeping a closer eye on where students are on campus at any given time. Although it may be frustrating to not be able to access the parking lot at all times or seem pointless to move across campus after school to an area with limited supervision, Ms. Fernandez asserts that “making students feel safe and heard and seen by…everyone on campus” is a top priority.
Another major focus is accountability on the parts of both teachers and students. As Assistant Principal of Curriculum & Instruction, Mr. Bowen is committed to making sure teachers are consistently updating their gradebooks. He also plans on dropping in on classes to give feedback, ensuring that everyone at CB receives the Quality Education promised by our Lasallian Core Principles. Our Assistant Principals of Student Life, meanwhile, want to foster an environment where students hold themselves accountable.
“We all have a role on campus, and we all follow the rules and policies, and [when we] don’t have to hold you accountable because you already are, that makes [our jobs] easier,” Ms. Fernandez explains.
Along those lines, another top priority is safety, as Mr. Trejo describes how “[what’s] first and foremost, is that everybody feels safe… and making sure that the students and staff, that everybody feels supported.”
“Ultimately, [the goal is] to support the students, and to support their learning — every student,” Dr. Iliff. “But especially those [student] with accommodations and have learning differences or learning challenges.”
And most importantly, the deans and assistant principals are people, and although they have a job to do, they’re here because they care about the students and the CB community at large. While many of them are still adjusting to their new positions, and in some cases to CB as a whole, they want to help.
“We are student-focused, student-centered, student-driven. We are listeners,” says Ms. Norman. “Just know that we are very friendly people. We love to laugh, we smile, we want to get to know students and have conversations with students,”
“We’re here 100%,” promises Dr. Iliff. “Our sole reason to be here is to serve the students and so that they never underestimate how important they are to us.”
Because although many of us may have frustrations with how the school is being run — I know I’ve had my reservations about some of the changes we’re seeing this year, particularly regarding the dress code — ultimately, they want the best for us as students, and for the entire CB community.