New Principal has goals to nurture school culture

Mr.+Belloso+stands+side+by+side+with+his+AP+Human+Geography+students+while+they+are+on+their+annual+downtown+LA+field+trip.+Dr.+Olivier+Wong+says%2C+Whenever+you+travel+with+students+as+a+school%2C+you+learn+so+much+more+about+those+individual+students+than+you+ever+would+in+a+classroom.

Photo Courtesy: Rodrigo Belloso

Mr. Belloso stands side by side with his AP Human Geography students while they are on their annual downtown LA field trip. Dr. Olivier Wong says, “Whenever you travel with students as a school, you learn so much more about those individual students than you ever would in a classroom.”

Cheyanne Jauregui, Editor in Chief

Dr. Olivier Wong was appointed the new principal of Don Antonio Lugo High school on August 19 and it has been almost 4 weeks since he replaced former principal Dr. Cabrera. A lot has happened since then and his goals for the school are more important than ever.

Teachers taking on an active role in student and school culture is important because, “school culture is a big part of what we do as educators” said Dr. Wong. It is essential that teachers are involved with what is happening on their school’s campus while also motivating students and themselves to actively participate. 

Staff need to take on a more active roll, “Some teachers are really into participating but other teachers could care less” said Johanna Barrios. Being involved can look different, for example: talking to students, going on field trips, or participating in school events. Even just getting to know a student’s background and asking questions can make the biggest difference he explains. Field trips in specific are a great outlet when you are getting to know students because you can get to know students on a deeper level.

Our biggest job is to provide you the tools to get you where you want to go”

— Dr. Olivier Wong

Dr. Wong believes successful leadership is trying to ensure students are getting the most out of school to create an environment where students feel like they can express their creativity and be involved. It is also important for every student to feel like they have a place to nourish their interests in activities such as sports, visual performing arts, and/or clubs.

During the 2008 housing crisis people were losing their homes, unemployment was rising, and money was decreasing. This could be compared to the COVID-19 pandemic and it could be described it as worse because “people have lost their lives and families have been seriously impacted” said Dr. Wong.

During the housing crisis schools were cutting music programs and getting rid of music teachers. Instead Dr. Wong expanded the music program, hired a choir teacher, and had the band perform. Not only did the band perform at football games but they also had the privilege of performing at Carnegie Hall in New York. This was a priority because it lifted school spirit and made sure students were involved in the things they were passionate about.

They also ensured to put on live musicals which brought students from all different backgrounds and abilities such as dance, band, theater, and design production. This is exactly what a school should be, “It shouldn’t just be sports, it shouldn’t just be VIP kids that we celebrate, but it should be everyone that has the opportunity to be participants in the school” he said.

Dr. Wong’s goal is to encourage the staff and students of Don Lugo to actively participate in and be a part of school culture. He knows it can be done and he knows it can take some time for people to come around but he remains firm on this goal.