Words: Shweta Maruvada
The months of May and June bring many changes to high schools. Seniors officially leaving, joy in having a few months away from the four walled building of school, and looking forward a new fresh start for a new school year. But the 2012-2013 school year will end in a much more drastic way.
Not only will those at Centennial High School have to say farewell to their seniors, but also to their Principal, Carl Perkins, who will be retiring from the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) after this school year.
Perkins has worked for HCPSS for the past 35 years. He was first a teacher at CHS, and then occupied the posts of assistant principal and principal at Oakland Mills Middle School, went on to the post of Principal at Folly Quarter Middle School, and then came to CHS as its Principal for the last five years.
These five years have been very special for Perkins. “It has been one of the most enriching and motivating, and challenging experiences at the same time I have ever had in my career. I thoroughly enjoyed working with the staff, students, and the community.”
The CHS teachers also feel the same way about their colleague. However, they are unable to grasp the situation that came so drastically. “It’s sad, and I am in denial – I don’t want to think about it,” said Andrea Covington.
Debbie Blake wishes Perkins a great future. “Thank you for all you have done for Centennial High School and the students. I hope you find a lot of happiness in your retirement years.”
Although some students at other schools may think of a principal as an unknown human being in charge of what they cannot do and might fear meeting him in the hallways, Perkins was another type of principal entirely. While on his frequent trips through the hallways, a smile and “good morning” or “good afternoon” could be heard for every person, be it student or colleague. His position was one that, unfortunately was not designed for too much interaction with the all of the students, but Perkins always made his best efforts to encourage learning while balancing it with positive school spirit for all the Centennial students.
A message from senior Larry Zhang to Dr. Perkins conveys his altruistic attitude towards the students and the unique experiences he offered to the students. “Well, Dr.Perkins, although I am sure we never got to know each other personally – but I am sure you have seen me around. The kid with a VCR as a belt? Oh you don’t remember that? How about the kid with the lamp? If not that, then maybe the boxer from the Martial Arts club? Anyhow, so what does stating these things about me have to do with your retirement you may ask – but alas! It has everything to do with it! Or rather I just want to say thanks – thanks for allowing me to go all out during spirit week and thanks for allowing me to create the Martial Arts club. I can say that I am satisfied leaving this school as a Senior this year, anyhow, good job”.
Junior Qian Mei also feels that Perkin’s work at Centennial far surpasses what any other Principal could have accomplished. “I feel that after all that Dr. Perkins has done to make sure the school’s standards stay at their highest, the next principal is definitely going to have to meet up to very high expectations.”
Perkins’s accomplishments for the CHS community are too great to be subjected to merely one article. No matter what his future entails for him, he will always have a special place at Centennial with the staff, students, and the wonderful memories and happiness he gave to the community.