BRISTOL, Connecticut, U.S.A. — There’s nothing like starting off a new school year: new backpacks, new clothes, and, starting this fall, a new administrator for the students of Bristol Central High School.
Just like each freshman, Christopher Clouet started this year off being the new guy, replacing Michael Ferry as Central’s head principal.
Okay, so he’s principal.
But, who exactly is this man?
Of course, he is your average, dedicated principal. Born in New York City and raised in Milford, Connecticut, Clouet said he picked education as a career because “you get to work with political issues, social issues and cultural issues in one job.”
But aside from the business end of his life, Clouet is just a regular guy that students may even be able to relate to.
“I really like music a lot,” said Clouet. “I have several guitars and like to make noise.”
He said he likes all kinds of music, including jazz, R&B, rock, and alternative. Living in New Haven, Clouet often goes to shows at Toad’s Place. He appreciates groups such as Rage Against the Machine and Wu-Tang.
Clouet also said, “I like the new ska. That kind of stuff that’s coming back.”
He may also relate to some teenagers because he was a vegetarian in his youth.
Although Clouet said he doesn’t have time to keep to a vegetarian diet anymore, he said he respects the views of those who follow one.
Among his goals for Central, Clouet would like to see “a re-invigoration of the learning community.”
That means, he wants to see the dropout rates decrease, the SAT scores bumped up, and more students moving into the top range.
“I don’t doubt that there are kids right now at Central that will discover the cure for something, invent some new technology, or write the next Broadway show,” said Clouet.
But, to do all that, he believes a student has to work for that life, and not expect life to work for her.
Clouet said Bristol is an interesting community with a lot of new things happening in the schools that “it’s fun to be a part of.”
That Clouet is interested in the new change taking place in Bristol schools may be helpful to Central.
At his old school, Clouet served on a committee that worked on developing block scheduling. Since Central switched to block scheduling this semester, the school only stands to gain from Clouet’s knowledge.
So far in his new job, Clouet said, he’s been treated nicely by students and teachers.
“People have been very kind and pleasant, and that’s been a real pleasure,” he said.
Amanda Lehmert is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.