Princi-pal: Saying goodbye to Mr. Smith

design: Natalia Favila Inacua

Principal Trond Smith announced that he won’t be returning as principal next school year. Smith has been an impactful person to the school over the past five years that he was principal. 

As principal, Smith made sure that the school ran smoothly. He’s held various roles in education in the past 30 years. He’s been a teacher, coach and assistant principal before he became the principal. 

“He is calm, open-minded, witty, laid back and positive. He is supportive and an excellent listener,” Assistant Principal Christine Tartt said.

Being the principal of a high school is no easy feat. It’s a challenging job that Smith works through each and every day. 

“Maneuvering through COVID-19 has definitely been the most challenging and complex part of the job. Facilitating new ways of teaching and learning, as well as being creative in providing opportunities like the senior salute and commencement walk ceremonies, presented a great deal of stress,” Smith said. “In the end, we were able to successfully do those things and do them well.”

Smith has presented change and has shaped the school over his past years as principal. These changes will be seen throughout the school even after he has left the role.

“We have changed our imagery and logos, we have added CREST as a reminder that character is important and our student body continues to reflect the diversity that we see in the world,” Smith said.

Smith is more than just a principal, though. He’s a person with hobbies of his own outside of the school.

“I am an avid golfer when the weather is tolerable. In the winter, I like to play my guitar,” Smith said. “I’m not great at either one, but I love to keep improving.”

Smith’s involvement in the school, its activities and sports show his true devotion to this community and the growth of the school.

“Without question, my favorite part about Orange is Friday Night Football. Our student body and our marching band are a force to reckon with, and we have had some great seasons on the field while I have been here,” Smith said. “The energy that is created early in the year, the excitement of being back in school and the enthusiasm of our crowd makes it an experience that is unmatched.”

Smith has a strong sense of pride in the community created at Orange. Smith points to the students as his proudest accomplishment during his time here. 

“The students and their accomplishments are always what makes me so incredibly proud. Every time I see our students perform, compete and achieve great things, I just feel blessed to be here and be a small part of their lives,” Smith said. 

Smith will be leaving the school, but he won’t be leaving the district. The new role that he will be taking on in the district this August will be the director of administrative services. 

“I will be supporting the work of all the building principals across the district, as well as the athletic directors,” Smith said. “It gives me the opportunity to serve the district and our community in a different capacity and allows me to work with so many great people. I’m truly humbled and excited about the opportunity.”

Smith has left a long-lasting impact on not just the students but the staff as well. His qualities have made him not just a good principal, but a good person and caring leader, leaving the staff with good memories of Smith. 

“He has refreshed the culture and built a supportive and inclusive environment for students and staff. There is a renewed sense of community–even through the pandemic,” Tartt said. “After Trond offered the position to me, he organized a night for the new admin team and spouses. It made me and the rest of the team feel very welcomed.”

As Smith leaves his role as principal of Orange High School, he’s leaving behind a strong influence as he steps into his new role in the district. He hopes nothing but the best for the school and its students. 

“As the world grows more complex and challenging, I hope that we can continue to focus on the importance of influencing our little part of the world with kindness, respect and tolerance. The potential is here for this building to positively impact our community in so many ways because our students are amazing!” Smith said. “Orange will always be close to my heart, and I will always be a Pioneer.”