Principal Christensen shares her Teal Town Pride for Aliso Niguel High School

Please introduce yourself and your background as Principal.

I have been an employee of CUSD for over 25 years, first as a teacher, and for the last 15 as an administrator. I have served as Principal of both Capistrano Valley High School and Aliso Niguel High School. I began in CUSD in 1993-94 as an English teacher, basketball coach, and journalism adviser during Aliso Niguel’s inaugural year.

What leadership advice do you have to share?

I believe in servant leadership. Leadership is about doing the right thing even when it is difficult, and always focusing on the needs of students and the school community first. To be a successful leader, you must ultimately always accept full responsibility for meeting these objectives.

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of the job is absolutely the students. I love watching the tremendous personal growth that takes place during the high school years. To me, our students are truly the most fun, engaging and enjoyable part of my job; I get tremendous joy and energy just being around them each day. It is truly a gift to lead a high school.

What is your favorite quote?

I love the John Wooden quote: “The most powerful leadership tool you have is your personal example.”

Describe your school’s mission and vision.

At Aliso Niguel High School, our mission is to provide a safe and rigorous learning environment where all students can realize their academic and personal potential. We envision a school where all students learn at high levels and feel connected and valued.

What makes your school unique?

We are a large, comprehensive high school with very strong diversified academic, athletic and co-curricular programs, resources and support that make our school feel small and inviting.

Highlight one program that your school offers:

We have one of the largest and most prestigious orchestra programs among all public high schools in the state of California.

What are you most looking forward to in the coming school year?

I am looking forward to our Homecoming Week, which is full of tradition, an incredible community event in the form of our football game and halftime show, plus an assembly and huge dance for our students — all filled with plenty of Teal Town pride!

What was your favorite moment or memory from last school year?

My favorite memory each year is almost always graduation day. Listening to our student speakers, taking in the surroundings, and watching our seniors toss their caps in the air gets me every time. It is always such a happy and emotional day for me.

How can students and parents best prepare for the upcoming year?

The most important thing students can do to prepare is to commit to starting off the year strong by getting plenty of rest, completing homework by setting aside consistent study time each day, and being proactive in seeking extra help right away when necessary.

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