Principal Craddock Helping Centennial Strive Toward Excellence
August 29, 2018
“Destination Excellence.” These are the words that personify the message the new principal wants students to know.
This year we’ve had several changes throughout the school. Many different faculty members have left, some have been replaced and some haven’t, but the biggest change is our new principal, Mr. Craddock. Many people are curious as to what his plans and visions are for this school year. With the numerous amount of changes to the district and school as a whole, some people are concerned for the future of Centennial, and what direction the new principal will take us in; however, even though there is some understandable concern, Mr. Craddock is sure that people will be satisfied with his vision.
Before working at Centennial, Mr. Craddock worked at Central for several years as a football coach, teacher, and administrator. When asked why he came to Centennial to become a principal he said, “There were really two main reasons, I was looking for a leadership position, but I didn’t want to lose the tradition I’ve learned to love over at Central.” He got everything and more than he wanted when he moved to Centennial.
Some people may be surprised by him choosing to work at the rival school, but he clarified this by stating, “Centennial was honestly my second favorite school. I mean, without Centennial there would be no rivalry.” While he does love his old school, he acknowledges that he has to distance himself from Central in order to really do the best job he can here at Centennial.
Even though he went to, and taught at the rival school, Mr. Craddock has a rich personal history with Centennial. “My dad actually went to Centennial,” noted Craddock. His dad was actually a star football player back in the day at Centennial. His father passed away at a fairly young age, so he wasn’t able to learn much of his past, but once he came here, the secretaries found an old picture of his dad and gave it to him, which he acknowledged as a special gesture. “I have some big shoes to fill. This may not be my school, but I feel honored to work here.”
He also had a great friend that went here as well, his old rival Tom Brockman. For those who don’t know, Tom Brockman is a former Centennial football coach that won two state championships. Although the two were rivals out on the field, they had a good friendship off the field. They would often eat lunch together right before games. Mr. Craddock even considers him to be a mentor.
With Mr. Craddock being a football coach, people may be concerned with the support of the arts. When asked about this concern he stated, “It doesn’t matter the club. It all adds to the tradition if the school. I really wasn’t a math guy in school, I sucked at math, but being in clubs like the band and sports really helped me get through that.” He supports all the programs and clubs at the school no matter the type. “I really wish that students don’t just go to school for a diploma. Your time in high school is special and you should really be a part of some sort of clubs.”
Mr. Craddock wants, more than anything, for the students to be the best that they can be. His plan for this year is to try to encourage the students to do and be their best. When asked to elaborate on his ideas he said, “Excellence, honor and the Bulldog way. I guess it’s the football coach in me, I always strive to do better and try to help the students do that as well.” He has come up with a few sayings to truly represent his point, such as “Excellence, honor and the Bulldog way.” and “Destination Excellence”. The second quote truly represents his goal fully. He wants the students to be the best they can be, to strive for excellence, and when they get to that point, to go even further.
Mr. Craddock has big plans for the school. He wants to encourage the students to go further and to try to be the best they can. It seems as though he will also try to do the best that he can. Now I will leave you with a message he wants all student to know. “I want them to be excellent. I really do believe in them and I want the kids to leave here knowing that they’re a part of Centennial history, and for them to know that they are excellent.”