The school year is finally on a role as summer comes to a close. Although the weather lingers, education around the district is in full motion. With that, we have the opportunity to get to know our newest staff members around CMHS. 

One of those members is none other than Dr. Eugene Kwong, CMMS’s new principal. But, does Dr. Kwong enjoy Mesa so far? 

Coming from 17 years at Centinela Valley High School District, Kwong faces some difficulties when getting used to the brand new district. “The biggest challenge, I think for me right now, is learning all of the new systems that we have here at Newport Mesa. It’s really important for me to learn to do everything that I did before but translate it into all the current systems and processes that we have here at Costa Mesa High School.”

Kwong believes that all students have the ability to succeed in the right environment. “[They] have an opportunity to succeed and to find their path, to find their passion, to find what they like or what drives them. I want them to find success however they (students) define it,” he says. Passionate about student successes, Kwong encourages a little humor to steer students along the way. “It’s our job to provide the support and encouragement, all the surrounding events and things we can do to help kids have fun [such as] dressing up and being silly. Those are things that I can do.” 

Although Kwong is a fun and upbeat principal, he still does everything he can to maintain order for all those trouble-makers. “You have to provide other means of correction for students who are getting in trouble and who are breaking/violating head code...just progressive discipline to help students access counseling or access other supports to help them learn from their mistakes.” Not only does he believe it’s up to the student to correct themselves, but believes adults, society and their environment are big factors when it comes to behavior. “We all were kids at on point. Kids can [be] influenced easily and swayed in certain directions by things that they hear, things that their friends share, and by [the] things that they see. It's up to us as adults [and administration] to really help guide them back and provide students with resources to make better decisions.” 

But, don’t worry students. Kwong is still as excited as ever to join Costa Mesa High School meet each and every one of you. “So far, everyone that I’ve been meeting have been very friendly, welcoming, [and] very helpful.” He says his favorite part about the school is just walking around and seeing all the students. “I love that when I walk through campus kids are always smiling and they’re always saying ‘Hey, how are you doing?’ It’s so nice to see how everyone is actively involved. It’s great to see all the positive vibes here and I’m happy to be apart of it.”