Inspiring people is a great achievement, and Assistant Principal Craig Carlson is a prime example of someone who inspires.
Carlson wanted to become a teacher after attending both UNC Greensboro and UNC-Chapel Hill. After getting a couple of degrees, including his teaching license, Carlson taught history at Leesville Road Middle School for five years. He began teaching history at Riverside in 2003.
While teaching in Riverside, Carlson’s class was across the hall from Jeff Lang, an english teacher there. They worked together for the 12 years when Carlson was a history teacher.
“He’s not on this hallway and I don’t’ work with him actually that much, so he seems alright,” he joked.
Lang described Carlson as being intelligent and verbose, but not hip.
“He crossed to the other team so I have to throw shade at him a little bit so I’ll give him a 5 of 10 because he’s not a teacher anymore,” he said.
“It wasn’t until I had been teaching for probably about 12 or 15 years that I started to think about other ways that I could be useful in a school,” he said.
Carlson wanted to help the school out more and remembered how his school experience was, especially the thing that stood out the most, his principals.
“I had several fantastic principals, and I knew that a principal can have a really positive influence on a school and administration,” stated Carlson.
Carlson then became an assistant principal at Riverside in 2015, heading into his fourth year in the position. As an assistant principal, Carlson is almost always busy. He has many meetings on various days of the week and during the day he’s either talking to students or visiting classrooms. During lunch, he’s on lunch duty, which requires him to be outside and monitor students.
His favorite part of the day, though, is traffic circle duty, which is exactly what it sounds like. Carlson has to be outside, in the morning and afternoon, control traffic and make sure everything is okay.
“I enjoy being out in front of the building getting to meet parents and students as they come in and getting to say good morning or hello,” said Carlson.
As an assistant principal, things aren’t always easy. He struggles to make sure that his multiple responsibilities don’t slip through any cracks. He does feel valued, though, and students and teachers often express their appreciation for the things he does.
“I’m part of a big school that does an awful lot of good work for students. It’s exciting to be just a part of this operation,” he added.
Carlson wants to make sure that all students are aware of how amazing this time of their life is.
“This is a great time in your life and even when it can seem stressful or overwhelming at times,” he said. “This is a fantastic time for you to for you to learn, grow, mature and express yourself. For everybody, you have to keep in mind that as fun and exciting as high school can be, it is only the beginning. Your lives are going to entail so much more as you move forward.”
Feature image by Brisa Rabadan