What’s new at Corona del Sol? Not much

By Jon Valentine

Summer break came to an end at Corona del Sol High School on Aug. 9, but anyone wondering what was new found little to report.

Only a few subtle changes took place on campus during the summer, and most agreed that the majority of them were hardly noticeable.

Corona saw a relatively large number of teachers leave campus over the summer, due to retirement, residence changes, pregnancies and other reasons. Several took positions elsewhere in the district or state.

Among those no longer teaching at Corona are Connie Shafer, Laura Clancy, Connie Milne, Krista Melley, Rosinda DiPomazio, Rick Lang, Marla Vaughn, Sandra Swanson and Karl Cox.

Succeeding them, or newly hired to expand student capacity in various departments, are Anthony Cantelmo, Tim Reisert, Jennifer Summers, Vanessa Woll, Keith Hester and Eric Schilling, among others.

In all, the employee list includes 19 new teachers. Twenty are no longer on the roster.

Although this could appear to be a large number of teaching positions changing hands, Assistant Principal Mark Duplissis says it really isn’t as significant as it might seem.

“It looks like a lot, but this actually isn’t too far out of the ordinary for such a large staff population like ours at Corona,” he said.

“Our faculty is huge.”

Duplissis says that many of Corona’s teachers and support staff likely will retire in the next few years, and that more new teachers are probably on the way.

“We definitely have an aging faculty,” he said. “We’re going to be experiencing that turnaround for the next five or six years.”

Corona also has replaced a small number of its part- and full-time security guards, but left  security procedures intact for the 2004-05 school year.

“We feel pretty comfortable right now (with security),” Duplissis said.

Although in no way related to Corona’s security measures, the Tempe Police Department’s S.W.A.T. team practiced at Corona on Aug. 4.

The team picked Corona as one of several large buildings around Tempe to fine tune its members’ responses to hypothetical crisis situations.

“I guess we have to feel pretty good that they’re using Corona for practice,” Duplissis said.

 This will be the ninth year of Corona del Sol’s participation in the Clean Air Campaign for Maricopa County. The program, which is organized on campus by Assistant Principal Dan Nero, encourages students, their parents and Corona staff to find a more environmentally friendly way to reach school everyday.

Those who carpool, ride bikes, take the bus or walk are eligible for a monthly drawing for prizes.

“This is something that is unique to Corona because we have good response from the students,” Nero said.

Corona’s system of student parking forces a larger number of students to carpool or find another way to school.

“In and of itself our parking plan contributes to this program,” Nero said.

Bus schedules are available in the main office at Corona, and students are always encouraged to participate.

Said Nero:

“We try to tweak it every year, to make it better and more efficient.”