05 Apr Farewell to Darrell McClendon
We might tear up a little when Assistant Principal Darrell McClendon says, “The best today ever!” He is retiring this year at the School for Entrepreneurship and Technology (SET High). Before he ventures on, let’s reflect on the profound impact he has had on our unique tuition-free public high school, and the San Diego community.
Welcome to Darrell’s World
Darrell brings heart and soul to SET High. He helped establish a culture of caring and compassion throughout the school with his tireless leadership as Assistant Principal and Chief Business Officer. He’s adored by students and staff as a sage advisor.
We look back on Darrell’s multi-layered impact on SET High with awe and wonder. He supported students’ growth, both academically and emotionally. He counseled students through loss and grief, depression and anxiety, and even suicidal ideations. He saved lives. Because of Darrell, students learned to never give up, and find resilience to embrace the world.
As Dr. Neil McCurdy, Principal, states in his nomination letter to Charter Stars, “The tradition of the students of SET High applauding any time Darrell enters a classroom is just the physical proof of how an entire school feels about this man and his legacy.”
“Even though he is the Assistant Principal, he’ll readily go unclog a toilet, pick up trash out front, or drive students to basketball practice,” said Neil. “If he’s worried about a student who is not showing up to school, he will drive to that student’s house to talk with them and their family. Every single person in our community feels known and valued by Darrell, and that is because he puts everyone else first.”
You might wonder who could possibly fill his shoes. Would you feel a sense of relief that our award-winning Ms. Geis is queued up for the Assistant Principal role next year? You’re right, joy is the more operative emotion here. We know Ms. G. will add her shine and exuberance to her future role at SET High, and her impact will be different from, but no doubt just as profound, as Darrell’s.
Ongoing Ripple Effect
SET High will miss Darrell’s paternal contributions, such as keeping his snacks stocked to feed hungry students and regularly advising students through a rough day. His guidance changed students’ lives forever, and he cares deeply about students and staff. We know that Darrell will create ripples of hope and compassion wherever he goes.
As he says, “It always ends well for me.”
Should we take a little credit here? We benefited from years of service from a gem like Darrell McClendon because the SET High culture is built on the belief that passion fuels learning. We retain extraordinarily committed and talented faculty and staff who guide each individual student along their unique learning journey. If SET High seems like the school for you, why wait? Enroll at SET today!
About SET High
SET High offers each student individual attention from multi-talented, highly qualified teachers. Students build a healthy camaraderie with classmates inside an intellectually rigorous environment that brings out their talents and personality, helping them develop their individual character and direction in life. With a wide variety of electives, flexible scheduling, dual enrollment college classes and more — our students regularly exceed their academic and personal expectations. Enrolling now!