Dr. Brett O’Connor will be retiring from CHS

The renowned principal of Claremont High School, Dr. Brett O’Connor, has announced his retirement after 16 good years of service. O’Connor has done many notable actions such as implementing the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program and the Advanced Via Individual Determination (AVID) Program. In addition to his wonderful accomplishments, he has also received many recognitions. O’Connor was honored by the Educational Theatre Association with the Administrator’s Award in 2017 and was recognized by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) with the Charter Leadership Award.
O’Connor, more commonly known around school as Doc Oc, has served in public education for 38 years, making the 2022-23 year his 39th. While O’Connor loves working with students, he also mentions the drawbacks of his job, mainly in the pension system and the considerable time commitment of being a principal.
“I love my job,” O’Connor said. “But it’s a very time-consuming job. I don’t have the time to do the activities that I enjoy.”
O’Connor enjoys working with students and loves working with high school students, as they are the most energetic, honest, and willing to try new things of all age groups.
“They grow so much [in high school],” O’Connor said. “Adults tend to remember their high school years the most. I mean, I still see friends that I made in high school.”
O’Connor’s main goal is to make the campus inclusive for all students and to offer activities that they will find engaging and interesting.
“It’s really hard for a high school student to do well in school if they don’t have a small group on campus and they learn so much from that,” O’Connor said.
O’Connor feels that he is leaving the school improved but still has a long way to go to reach all students on the CHS campus.
To Dr. James Mitchell, our future principal, O’Connor gives three tips: first, to provide a voice for the students. Second, to stay calm in the face of adversity. Third and final, to never forget his purpose in serving the students.
Dr. O’Connor is grateful for his time at CHS and applauds the staff and students for helping shape the campus’ incredible community.
“Thank you for letting me lead,” O’Connor said. “Students, your teen years can be very challenging and I am impressed at how well you handle those challenges every day. And staff, never forget the ability you have to change lives.”