RCHS Principal Joshua Kirk announces resignation

Mr. Joshua Kirk dressed in character and showing school spirit for the 2023 RCHS Ren Rally.

Luciana Martin

Mr. Joshua Kirk dressed in character and showing school spirit for the 2023 RCHS Ren Rally.

During the routine second period announcements on Friday, April 7, 2023, RCHS’s principal, Mr. Joshua Kirk, announced over the intercom that he would be stepping down from his position as Rancho’s principal. 

In an email sent later that day, Kirk elaborated on why he made the decision to resign.

In the email, Kirk said he is, “currently at a place where [he] cannot continue to sacrifice the time and support [his] wife and kids need from [him],” and “it is with a heavy heart […] that [he] will be stepping down at the end of this school year as the Principal at RCHS.”

This will mark this year’s graduating class’s third principal in their time at Rancho. The two principals before Kirk, Mr. Cary Wilborn and Mr. Eduardo Zaldivar, both served for varying times, and left different legacies on campus.

During his time at Rancho, Kirk has worked to develop a relationship with students, staff and parents, and in that he’s become unmatched in showing his passion for Rancho. His personality and compassion for people has made the people here at Rancho motivated and inspired to be better. 

Kirk started at RCHS at the start of the 2021-2022 school year, the first year of Rancho being back in person after being disrupted by the Covid-19 Pandemic. 

He arrived at a campus that had its spirit drained after the pandemic shutdown temporarily halted school operations in mid-March 2020. Instead of ignoring this, he saw it as an opportunity to rebuild the campus in a new way and welcomed the challenge with open arms. 

“I think everybody has changed over the last two years. I don’t think it’s so much as just administrative staff changing, but also students have changed, parents have changed,” said Kirk. “We could not come back and do things just as we did before.”

Concerns of who would replace Kirk after this school year immediately arose as soon as he made his announcement.

“I honestly have no idea who the next principal will be. I’m not a part of that process to [appoint the next] principal,” Kirk said. 

To the next principal, Kirk also had some advice for his successor:

“Enjoy every moment, spend the time to build relationships. Be visible, to attend events, and take your vitamins! You need the energy! It’s a very draining job. It’s emotionally, physically and spiritually draining, but there’s nothing [like] being a principal.”

Dr. Sherry Berwick, Rancho’s Assistant Principal of Ed Services who has been here for well over a decade and has seen many principals, felt like there was something different about Kirk’s time here.

“I would say that Mr. Kirk has a lot of personality and students gravitated towards him immediately,” said Berwick. “He has a very unique and good communication style. We’ve had three principals in the last four years, so I think now there’s an expectation of stability moving forward.”

Kirk has made a lasting impression on the RCHS campus. He talked about how first day on the job, he was very nervous. He recalls having to put up this front of knowing things. Almost similar to faking it until he made it.  

Kirk served as a standout principal, leaving a unique legacy behind on campus, one built on being grounded and developing relationships with students. 

“As hard as it is to leave this place, the school community and the staff, the biggest part of my heart is the students, that’s the driving force. So I want to apologize for not being able to be here and be a part of the start and finish for all of our students. Continue to love this place, make this place better, and whoever the next principal is, welcome them with that Rancho love,” Kirk said.