HEMET – Tahquitz High School will have a new Principal for the upcoming school year. Eric Dahlstrom, former principal of Dartmouth Middle School, was chosen as Former Principal Derek Jindra’s replacement. Derek was promoted to Director of Human Resources for the Hemet Unified School District.
Eric is starting his 18th year in education and 11th year with Hemet Unified. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Geography, and Reading Specialist Credentials from Aquinas College. He graduated from Western Michigan University with his Master’s in Educational Leadership. He is currently enrolled in the Doctoral program at Brandman University for Organizational Leadership, which he hopes to finish in December.
Eric plans to add to the infamous Titan P.R.I.D.E. (Pride, Respect, Integrity, Dedication, and Excellence). He said in order for students to succeed, they must have a Purpose, Perseverance and Passion in their learning, referring to the extension of the “P” as “P Cubed.” He understands that each student will take a different path, and it is the district’s job to find the right path to ensure they graduate college and career ready.
“I’m excited to come back to this side of the community,” said Dahlstrom. Before becoming principal at Dartmouth, he was the Assistant Principal of Rancho Viejo Middle School. Many of the sixth grade students he worked with at Rancho Viejo will be seniors this year at Tahquitz. He wants to build relationships and connect with his students to ensure they feel safe on his campus. Each day is an opportunity to create relationships with his students and staff; he will be out at lunch, during passing periods and even at sporting events to bond with students and the community.
Tahquitz will continue to develop and grow its programs already established to increase graduation rates. They will offer the second most Dual Enrollment classes within Riverside County. Dual Enrollment classes allow students to gain college credit for their coursework. Staff will continue to focus on the Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) program and extend the AVID program striving to become a site of distinction.
“Being involved in the community is important. Ultimately, our goal is to graduate productive citizens to positively influence our community”, said Dahlstom. He is a Kiwanis and Elk member, and also mentors young administrators with the Riverside County’s Clear Administrative Services Credential (CASC) program, National Institute for School Leadership (NISL), and serves on the Executive Board for the California League of Middle Schools.
Learning is a top priority for Dahlstrom. While growing up, he struggled in school, admitting he still had difficulties reading while entering high school. “I can empathize with students and their struggles. I’m here to offer support and guidance not only to the students, but staff members as well,” he said.