Dr. Rundhaug has ascended to the Royal Throne, and has wasted no time in making positive change. He arrived in uncertain circumstances after our formal principal’s controversial demotion, but Dr. Rundhaug has left no doubt that he will be a leader for our school community. With a focus on integration and unity, Dr. Rundhaug is a lodestar for a unified school populace.
Dr. Rundhaug is very experienced as an educator. He has been a part of the educational field for over 28 years. His experience extends to multiple school districts in Arizona, working his way from teacher to principal to superintendent and everything in between. In addition, Dr. Rundhaug has taught a decent number of graduate level classes in school finance, statistics, educational law, and education. Dr. R has been a vital part of helping in financially struggling districts to turn around schools. His experience extends to creating a unified school community with positive relationships and culture in different districts and schools.
More than that, Dr. Rundhaug is a man of the people. His humor when he has spoken in public has already been a hit among students since his first moments as a principal, at school assemblies, on the daily announcements, and at the homecoming rally. “I think it comes down to being real,” said Dr. Rundhaug in an interview I had with him. “At your [high school] age, what people hate more than anything is hypocrisy. I try very hard to remember what it is like to be at your age. I love the energy that you guys have, and that is a big part of why I became an educator. Being around you guys is cool. You guys help me remember what it’s like to be young, and I keep that in the back of my head whenever I do everything.”
His energy and exuberance and his use of self-deprecating humor as well as his relatability have not gone unnoticed by the students.
“Dr. Rich is a really funny, cool guy,” said senior Chris Eddy. “He was a super cool guy to listen to, and his performance at the Homecoming Pep Rally really was awesome to see a Principal doing. It made him a friend and a fun figure in the minds of me and my friends. I’m still going to miss Ed Behrens, though.”
Chris Eddy is not alone in that statement. Dr. Rundhaug has been a hit, but the loss of principal Ed Behrens rocked the San Marcos community last year. He was even more beloved by the students, and under his leadership, and San Marcos experienced considerable growth as a school.
Dr. Rundhaug has big shoes to fill, but so far, he’s doing a great job. His primary focus academically is college and career readiness, which students are going to be seeing in the near future. “There are some indications from the State that indicate how well we are doing when it comes to preparing students for college and career readiness,” said Dr. Rundhaug. “I want to make sure we hit on as many of those indicators as possible. One of the best ways to do that is to identify the indicators that students are making it, have the counselors aware of that, and empower those who need it most.”
Many students and teachers know very little about what he has in store, but the transition from principal to principal has been smooth, and Dr. Rundhaug is making great, positive steps towards a unified school body. The students and staff alike are excited for what Dr. R has in store.