Creekview students may know the new man in charge as the voice over the intercom, the guy at the games, or just a person in the hall greeting passing students, but that is only a snapshot of who the new principal is.
Michael Santoro, a former AP U.S. History teacher and the current principal at Creekview High School, has risen to the challenge of governing a student body trying to pull itself out of a COVID mindset. He has been a strict enforcer of attendance and late work policies to draw kids back into a regular schedule.
“For the last two years as students everywhere in the country, probably, but definitely around Cherokee county and metro Atlanta because of what we dealt with, we just told you guys for two years, ‘Just hand it in when it’s done’,” Santoro said.
As COVID ran rampant across the country, schools did their best to adapt and use what they had to continue to teach with some level of normalcy, but it could not compare to the education system pre-COVID, and it is showing in schools today.
“Now the toughest thing is breaking us out of that mentality, and deadlines are important. Due dates are important,” Santoro said.
Once employed at Creekview, Santoro immediately enforced long since abandoned policies regarding late work and tardiness. Quickly these policies went from lenient and not very enforced to strict and unyielding. For every day late, 20 points are taken off assignments. If students find themselves not in their first period when the 8:30 bell rings, they must get a pass from the front office; too many of these incidents can result in repercussions like missing the chance to get a parking pass.
“It has been harder to learn certain subjects due to many students and teachers getting sick, but overall, I think that the policies should be followed regardless,” Reese Grant, sophomore, said.
As Creekview students continue to get back on the path to success, Santoro makes sure students know they have his support. Every day over the intercom, he reminds students that grades matter and that they should work hard today and every day.
“We need to get back to stressing the importance of academics,” Santoro said.
As Santoro leads Creekview towards a new normal, he also acknowledges that this will be a long process, and he is ready to be here every step of the way.