2023 Shop with a Principal

2023 Shop with a Principal
Posted on 12/15/2023

This week over a dozen junior high students from four Santee School District schools took part in the 7th annual Shop with a Principal event.

Shop with a Principal is an initiative driven by generous anonymous donors who wanted to give back to the community. These donors initially collaborated with Santee Success Program teacher, Mr. Chris Stanley (who was then teaching at Carlton Hills), to establish a boys support group at Carlton Hills. Every Friday, these donors would bring lunch for a group of five to eight boys, and eventually contributed DJ equipment and encouraged grant writing and student-driven fundraising for DJing. Through community donations and connections with the San Diego Sportfishing Association and Captain Rollo's Kids at Sea Program, this group also enjoyed going on various fishing expeditions.

The donors’ drive to do more for the community led to the creation of Shop with a Principal in collaboration with Mr. Todd Raley, manager at the Grossmont Center Walmart. Santee School District junior high teachers and site administrators identify 7th and 8th grade students in need, and these deserving students are then given the opportunity to shop for items they may not have access to during the holiday season. Initially focused on Carlton Hills, the event has now expanded to include Hill Creek, Pride, and SSP.

“It has been a heartwarming journey to see our efforts grow from a small group of boys to impacting dozens of students in need each year,” said Mr. Stanley. “Our goal is to expand our impact by making this a district wide event. I would like to extend my deepest gratitude and appreciation for the generous donors who started this initiative, and Mr. Raley and other donors who have made Shop with a Principal so impactful.”

Principals Dobbins (Carlton Hills), Forster (Hill Creek), Bonser (PRIDE Academy), and Mike Olander (District Director of Pupil Services and SSP Site Administrator) joined Walmart staff to guide students through their shopping lists. Each student was given a Walmart gift bag and a $200 gift card to spend as they pleased. For those interested in donating or learning more about the program, please contact Mr. Chris Stanley at [email protected].

Shop with a Principal