From the desk of Dr. Tuin, Tustin High Principal

January 7, 2022

This week, I made it a point to get into as many classrooms as possible just to check in and gain a pulse of where people are at in returning from the long vacation. Not all students were in attendance due to potential exposure to COVID. I appreciate our school community which takes this pandemic seriously. About 20% of our students were out this week, but fortunately, only a couple actually tested positive. (We also had very few missing adults due to COVID)

Another observation I made was our students' excitement in being back in school with their friends. Unlike the fall, when the excitement felt like a great deal of nervous energy, wondering what it would be like to return to school full time, the students appeared more settled and comfortable in their excitement this week. There wasn’t an “unknown” factor like the beginning of the year. On the contrary, students appeared relaxed with the known. In most cases, teachers already knew the students' names, and other adults around campus also recognized our students returning to campus. The Tiller community pays attention to who is here and who is missing. Once a Tiller, Always a Tiller is not just a slogan but descriptive of our school community. It was great to see our Tillers returning home this week!

One of the classes I spent more extended time in this week was a US History class. The teacher presented the story of the “Monkey Trials” in 1925. She offered a great deal of background information pointing to a unique time in our nation’s history. The 1920s was a booming era where communities placed a higher value on education. In the early 1920s, an unprecedented number of communities opened up high schools, marking a shift from predominantly agricultural communities to more progressive industrial and educated communities. As I sat at a desk absorbing all the information, it hit me that our school started in 1921 among a predominantly agricultural society, thus Tillers! Way back 100 years ago, the people in this community had a vision for their children that included a high school education, a radical thought for some at that time. Today, our community continues that vision of educating our children to expand, grow and prepare for the future.

A lot has changed in our community in some ways in 100 years. The people are different, and we all live in many different contexts. However, what is similar is our community's vision for our children. Teachers, parents, staff, and community members all give sacrificially to ensure our students set themselves on the best path possible while fully embracing what the high school experience has to offer. Tustin High School is a great place to grow, learn and prepare, and I am grateful to be part of such a community. Pandemic or no pandemic, it is great to be a Tiller! Go Tillers!

Dr. Jon Tuin

Tustin High School Principal