James Mackey: Assistant Principal


Abby LeCheminant, Staff Writer

Castaic High School is a relatively new school, as it had its first year of operation in 2019. Since the school is still working out some kinks and implementing more changes, there have been a lot of new staff members taken on recently. One of those staff members is a new assistant principal, James Mackey. This is Mackey’s first year working at Castaic, and so far, he’s loving it. I was able to do an interview with him and get a closer look at him and his plans. 

Even though this is his first year at Castaic, it is not his first year in a school. Mackey has an extensive background in education, he has been in it for at least 20 years. When he first began teaching he was a special education teacher, he also was a program specialist for the Burbank district and an assistant principal at Burbank High School for two years. He transferred to Castaic from Hart, where it had been his 6th year working as an administrator in the special education office. 

Mackey went to college at San Diego State, where he was an aide in a couple classes and discovered he really enjoyed working with the students. He worked with students with all kinds of different needs, and was able to gain extensive knowledge on how to best provide the support they needed to best further their education.

When asked why he came here to Castaic High School, he replied that there was an opening here because they were adding another assistant principal. Along with his position as assistant principal,  he’s also in charge of the Sequoia Program. The Sequoia Program is “a smaller program for students that need a little more support, and they’re able to access some of their classes. Some of them are in Castaic classes, some are in just Sequoia classes, it just depends.”

 A responsible worker, he juggles the duties of an assistant principal well. Mackey additionally helps out with attendance and works with some of the English language learners. I posed the question of what a normal day might look like to him and was answered with this, “I’m here four days a week in this office, and this building (the 600s) is kind of where the Sequoia program is, and then Wednesdays, I’m down in the other office and do more Castaic related responsibilities. I also help supervise sports, depending on the days”. 

Mackey has been quickly adapting to Castaic High School and the new opportunities and environment working at a new school has been able to give him. “I definitely want to be here for a while, I don’t know what that looks like as far as long term. It would be nice to get to know the Castaic students a little better and be here for a while and build that relationship with the students”. Keen on staying put, James Mackey has embraced the job as assistant principal and hopes to be the best he can and give the students someone to rely on. Be sure to say hi if you see him on campus and give him a warm welcome!