Everyone knows Larry Porras as our exuberant principal, but who knows who he really is?

Porras has been a part of the administration for 15 years, working his way up to principal. Most principals would be nervous starting a new year, but not Porras.

"I expect this year to be an excellent year," he said.

"It's really not a bad thing," Porras said of the school's great rise in students. "With more students, we can offer stronger programs, more [Advanced Placement] courses and a stronger athletics program."

Porras enjoys being principal because he likes "overseeing a campus that is a safe learning environment."

With all the stress, it isn't hard to imagine that Porras can have a bad day, but when he does, he spends "time with young people, and it reminds me why I got into this business."

Unlike many administrators who set out to become principals, Porras has a unique story of his own.

"I was in management at Carl's Jr., and it was in the middle of the night, and I was teaching some guys how to boil the fryer, then it hit me: 'I have a college degree, and I am letting it go to waste by teaching people how to boil a fryer.' So I left the position and began looking for another job."

He saw an ad in the newspaper for [substitute teachers] and thought "I'll try that." The first day on the job, he realized he wanted to have a career in education.

Having started a new year, Porras has a lot going on and is excited about the development and training of the 40 new teachers HHS gained this year. Even though there are a lot of exciting events, there are challenges as well.

"The most challenging thing about being principal is time management." Porras has to make sure everything is running smoothly on a daily basis.

Another development he has to contend with is the construction of the science building.

"I just want it done and over with; I am not a very patient person."

Despite the ongoing issues that he has to deal with, Porras is proud of his school.

"I am proud of the students, for their behavior and conduct, and for the staff and their togetherness." Porras wants students to "continue to make solid decisions and not have peer pressure have you do foolish things."

Let's give it up for Porras as we head into another successful year.

This story originally appeared in the September 2007 edition of the Hesperia High School newspaper, the Sting. The piece was slightly edited to conform with Daily Press/Hesperia Star editorial style, but is otherwise unchanged from the original.