San Dieguito Academy Newspaper

A New Assistant Principal is in Town

September 27, 2017


Jaden Hauptman

New Assistant Principal Celeste Abdelnaby is looking forward to communicating with students to help improve SDA.

“Figure out what makes you you and find out ways to build off of that. Find things that make you excited and find ways to make a living doing those things.” As new Assistant Principal Celeste Abdelnaby begins her first year at SDA, she advises students to heed this advice, which has inspired her to pursue her current career in education.

SDA isn’t the first school that Abdelnaby has worked at. She started out as a high school and middle school science teacher and then later worked her way up to become an assistant principal for three years. Later, she was a principal for five years at an elementary school. When asked why she decided to go back to being an assistant principal, Abdelnaby said, “When I was principal, you were the only person in charge and you had no one to talk to and bounce ideas off of… Being on a team again was very attractive to me.”

After being here for about a month, Abdelnaby has seen SDA’s culture in action. She said, “The biggest unique factor I found here was the culture and acceptance of different kinds of people… The culture here makes my job a lot more enjoyable.”

Another thing that Abdelnaby noticed at SDA was the off campus lunch and the dress code. She said, “I was pleasantly surprised that you can sit wherever you want at lunch. You can go to the far reaches of the campus, which makes it harder to supervise, but that’s ok because you’ve earned that trust and unless students are violating that, we shouldn’t pull in the reigns.” She continued, “I feel like there is a lot more trust. Even the fact that it’s an open campus at lunch and there is looser enforcement of the dress code.”

Abdelnaby also said that input from students is important and hopes to expand and improve the ways that the school collects information regarding students’ thoughts. She said, “We have some ways of gathering information on how students feel about the school, but I’d love to have a survey that we develop that is specific to our campus and not just everybody in the country and get a better feel for what [students] feel like are the strengths of this school and the things we should protect and the things that we need to do a better job at.”

One of the things that Abdelnaby noticed was that SDA has genderless bathrooms to help those who are transgender or questioning their sexuality feel more comfortable. She said, “The whole thing with gender identity – I feel like we at this school do a lot more than other schools, but could we be doing more to make all people feel comfortable? Probably. Those kind of things I’d like to get more information about and then to repeat that over time. A lot of schools everywhere do a one shot thing, and then they abandon it. It’s valuable that you repeat it.”

Part of Abdelnaby’s job is working with the AVID and English learners classes. With the President of the United States pushing for stricter immigration policies, she said, “There was a lot of fear going around that there was going to be a lot ICE (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement) raids.” Because of this, she said, “I reached out to their teachers. The teachers know that they can call on me for that.”

At one of her previous schools, she said, “I had students last year come in and they were afraid that if they drove to LA with their family, they would be pulled over and the whole family would be sent to Mexico. How can somebody learn when you have those kind of fears going on in your life? That just breaks my heart.”

If any student wishes to talk to her, Abdelnaby said, “I try to just walk around. I go to as many events as I can so there are more organic opportunities to interact. There are a lot of ways to formally find me, but I hope that I can talk to students informally too.”

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About the Contributors
Photo of Cade Culbertson
Cade Culbertson, Staff Writer

Fool me once, fool me twice, fool me chicken soup with rice.

Photo of Jaden Hauptman
Jaden Hauptman, Photo Editor

I like dogs more than people…

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