Yucaipa Principal Shad Kirkland is no stranger to Yucaipa. He grew up in town and attended Yucaipa High School, remembers Naugles and the old Dairy Queen, the painting on the water tower and the big Morbitzer’s plastic chicken.
“I’ve been here all my life and this is a great way to give back to my community and make a difference,” said Kirkland.
Kirkland said he is overwhelmed with the support he has experienced since taking over as Yucaipa’s principal.
“Shortly after I was announced as the new principal, I heard a knock on my office door,” he said. “It was about 5:30 p.m., and this woman — Margaret asked if I was the new principal. I introduced myself and she presented me with a homemade pie. She said I probably wouldn’t have much time for eating so she wanted me to have a pie.”
Kirkland said it’s one of the reasons he loves the town so much.
“I cannot believe the support,” said Kirkland. “It’s the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen.”
Kirkland said the staff and students are amazing.
“I was so pleasantly surprised. It’s all been outstanding. Teachers talk about the kids in a positive way. I’ve worked at a lot of different high schools and Yucaipa is unique. It’s a one-town high school and there are amazing kids all over the place. There’s so much talent, leadership and energy here and those are the kind of things I want to recognize.”
In addition to Assistant Principal John Moore, there are two new assistant principals this year at YHS; Heather Seader and Julie Beck.
“We have some great administrators,” he said.
Kirkland said his primary focus right now is getting to know the staff and see what works and what doesn’t.
Kirkland has two children who currently attend Yucaipa schools along with two-step children. Although he is currently spending all his spare time at YHS, Kirkland is an active citizen and enjoys mountain biking, hiking at Wildwood State Park, scuba diving and running.