Bronco Voices: Veteran vice principal validates Northgate experience but misses “seeing, feeling, and observing that vibrant atmosphere”


Sentinel Staff

Vice Principal Craig Bocks, left, meets with Assistant Athletic Director Brandon Enriquez Oct. 29.

Rachel Rosenfield, Senior Editor

While social distancing has brought new challenges for the school year, Northgate High School is making these challenges look like a cakewalk. This is largely due to the cohesive administration, including Vice Principal Craig Bocks. This is Bocks’ third year at Northgate, and while this one has been drastically different,he is still up to face whatever comes his way. He made time this week to speak with the Sentinel:


Q: What is your education al background?

A: I graduated from UC Berkeley and received my teaching and administrative credentials from St. Mary’s College.  I’m also currently in a program at St. Mary’s to earn a master’s degree in Educational Administration.  So, I’m distant learning too!

Q: When did you know you wanted to work in education?

A: At one point in college, I had the opportunity to coach football at a local high school, which provided a spark for me.  I used that experience to gravitate toward a career in classroom teaching, several roles at educational technology companies, and eventually back to school administration in the last several years.  I’ve always loved the unique energy and perspective on life that students bring to school with them.  Every student and every day is different.  I enjoy that about working in education.

Q: Favorite part of Northgate?

A: Northgate has been such a fantastic school community for me to join.  The students are obviously motivated academically, but I especially like when our school shows interest in learning about our place within the greater world, with projects like If I Could Change the World, Mock Congress, and Senior Project.

Q: Favorite subject in school?

A: Early on in elementary school I loved math, and really up until geometry.  As I got older, my strengths and interests moved more toward English and history, where I loved to read and learn about other people, places, and cultures around the world.

Q: How do you spend your free time?

A: I’m a sports junkie and always have been, so I’m often playing or watching something.  I also like to hike, spend time with my family, and travel.

Q: How have you adjusted to quarantine?

A: I worked for nearly 15 years in software and technology, so for me a lot of the technical elements of distance learning were like an interesting puzzle that we needed to figure out.  Northgate students and teachers have been so fantastic making the best of the quarantine, especially this fall. 

Q: What do you miss the most right now?

A: Students. By far, the hardest part of coming to school these days is having no students on campus.  Most everyone at Northgate knows that my favorite part of the day is walking around campus at brunch and lunch, meeting, talking, and interacting with the student body.  I really miss that.

Q: What are you looking forward to when students returns?

A: There is a “buzz” that exists on a high school campus when everyone is in person and I am really looking forward to seeing, feeling, and observing that vibrant atmosphere again.  I’m also looking forward to a time in the future when we can safely hold special events like assemblies, sporting events, and prom/ball.  I think we are all learning not to take these kinds of experiences for granted.

Q: Have you been reading any good books?

A: Yes, definitely.  I actually started to keep track of the books I’ve read in 2020 (Obama publishes his annual list and that inspired me).  A few of my favorites so far this year are Pachinko (Min Jin Lee), The Hate U Give (Angie Thomas), and Shoe Dog (Phil Knight).  I’m currently reading A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini and get a LOT of great book recommendations from Rula in the Northgate library.

Q: Any words of wisdom for students?

A: Be you.  It sounds really simple, but the most challenging part of high school can be all of the time spent trying to be something you’re not, or worrying about what others think about you or what you’re doing.  The sooner every student can learn to celebrate what makes them unique as a person, the more opportunities they will have to pursue their interests surrounded by people they enjoy.