Introducing Oakdale’s New Principal, Mr. Caulfield!

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Jonathan Castle

Mr. Caulfield under the Oakdale Bears Excellence banner in the school’s front entrance, where he spends his morning greeting students.

Jonathan Castle, Writer

“High School kind of saved my life,” William Caulfield, Oakdale High’s new Principal, shared, “I want kids to feel the same way I felt in school [and] I want to keep a positive energy going here, so we can recover from the pandemic, and come back stronger than ever before.”

I want kids to feel the same way I felt in school [and] I want to keep a positive energy going here, so we can recover from the pandemic, and come back stronger than ever before.”

— Mr. Caulfield

Mr. Caulfield started teaching Government and History, before switching to administration: First, he was a teacher at TJ High for 8 years, followed by three years as an assistant principal at Oakdale, and then the same at TJ again for 4 years. For the last two years, he was an assistant principal at Walkersville High.

Mr. Caulfield holds a mistake-positive attitude towards learning: “My goal this year, personally, is to keep learning. Because I know I’m going to make mistakes. [But,] I’m trying not to make the same mistakes twice.”

He enjoys attending the different extracurricular events the school offers: “The thing about [this] school [is] it’s not just sports. And we have a great, great football team and lots of fans show up for that. But I like going to events like mock trial or academic team. There’s so many different things to see. I just want the students to feel like I want to be a part of all the amazing things our Oakdale Bears do.”

Even within the 18 years Caulfield has been in education, the landscape has changed substantially: “The basic structure of school is still the same, but social media has changed everything. There’s a lot of things that happen on social media outside of school that come into school and create problems that we have to consistently work on. That’s why we’re doing these [Social Emotional Learning] lessons to make [the students] feel welcome.”

Although the education landscape has changed, he feels that good teachers can make all the difference: “If we have teachers who are working hard and creating innovative lessons and energizing their kids and keeping them engaged, we’re going to have great, great success. And that [will] always remain the same.”

Samuel Mills, a math teacher who has been with Oakdale since its opening, says a defining characteristic of a good principal is a willingness to seek input. Mr. Caulfield agrees: “We want to hear the student voice as we prepare for school every day [and we want] to make sure that students have a voice to talk about what they’re proud of and what they want to see change here.”

If you are a student and you would like to reach out, Mr. Caulfield is in the cafeteria during every lunch shift, and he also greets students by the front door every morning. If you would prefer to email, Mr. Caulfield can be reached at [email protected]