From the nctimes.com:

The principal who will lead Carlsbad’s Sage Creek High school when it opens next year said he understands how important the undertaking is for the whole community.

“I’ve got nothing but excitement, while at the same time, my eyes are wide open to the many challenges ahead of me,” Principal Cesar Morales said.

Carlsbad Unified School District officials picked Morales for the job last month. He has served as principal at Valley Middle School for the past four years.

He was perfect for the job because of his experience and success over the years, said Torrie Norton, assistant superintendent in charge of human resources for the district.

“He has great interpersonal skills,” she said. “The parents respect him. The kids respect him.”

Morales started as a teacher and coach in the San Dieguito Union High School District in 1999. There, he was one of the key players in the opening of Canyon Crest Academy, Norton said.

He moved to the assistant principal position at Valley Middle School in 2006 and the principal spot two years later.

Being an administrator, teacher or coach require similar skills, he said.

“It’s all about team dynamics,” he said. “It’s all about defining what it is you’re trying to accomplish.”

Once the school year is finished next month, he will move to the district office to work full-time on planning for Sage Creek’s expected opening in August 2013.

Morales said he wants to put together a succinct plan and description of what the school will offer over the summer so he can begin recruiting students and informing the public this fall.

By February, he said he hopes to have students and parents committed to attending, so he can figure out how many teachers he will need to hire.

“There’s a lot of work ahead of us,” he said.

For the 2013-14 school year, Sage Creek is expected to have only freshmen and sophomores. However, a grade of freshmen will be added in each of the two following years.

Eventually, district officials expect the campus to serve as many as 1,500 students, bringing down enrollment numbers at Carlsbad High School.

District officials have recommended that the school be a comprehensive high school with a focus on science, math, technology and engineering. Students will be able to pick which of the two comprehensive high schools to attend.

Morales said he wants to ensure that the two schools complement each other rather than compete.

“We’re here to offer the community a distinct opportunity,” he said.

Workers are building the campus in eastern Carlsbad on a 57-acre site near College Boulevard and Cannon Road. Grading started in 2010, and construction is scheduled to be finished in April.

The district has budgeted $104 million for the project, which includes the price of construction and other costs such as legal and architectural fees.

Some teachers in the district have suggested the district push back the opening to save money required for operating costs. Over the past several months, district officials have been in negotiations with its employees unions about salary cuts and furlough days.

The high school is one of the two remaining projects to be paid for with money from Proposition P, the $198 million school-construction measure voters passed in 2006. The other is $86 million worth of renovation work and construction at Carlsbad High School. That work is also under way and expected to be finished next year.

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