Corning Union High School Associate Principal Charlie Troughton is known to sing the national anthem before basketball games. Troughton says he became an administrator to focus on quality teaching across the campus.
Troughton is relentless about good instruction
July 1, 2024
ACSA Administrators of the Year graphic.
Name: Charlie Troughton Award: Secondary Co-administrator of the Year Title: Associate Principal, Curriculum and Instruction, Corning Union High School ACSA highlights: Member since 2007; ACSA Tehama Charter President, 2015-current; planning committee for charter networking events.
After 30 years at Corning Union High School District, Charlie Troughton is retiring. His legacy is one of collaboration, dedication to excellence and commitment to promoting effective classroom instruction. ACSA’s 2024 Secondary Co-administrator of the Year, Troughton has been a force for positive change in both his district and his ACSA region.
For the last nine years, Troughton has served as the Tehama Charter president, working to develop new events and increase membership and to ensure that local administrators were able to stay connected and informed during and after the pandemic. Prior to his role as associate principal, Troughton served as a social science teacher, head of the social sciences department and principal of CUHS, prioritizing student needs at each stage in his career. From sharing his personal story with students about losing his leg at age 19 to introducing AVID and developing a robust EL department, from singing the national anthem at football and basketball games to bringing in instructional coaches for teachers, he has led with professionalism, compassion, innovation and inclusivity.
His commitment to curriculum development and programs like the Northern California Writing Project had direct impacts on student literacy and achievement throughout the district. He served on WASC visitation teams, stepped in to teach a yearlong geography class and encouraged staff to cultivate a growth mindset through collaborative trainings and reading assignments. His consistent walkthroughs involved regular visits to classrooms to watch, listen and offer helpful feedback.
As CUHS teacher and instructional coach Corine Maday wrote, “I’m not sure if Charlie realizes this, but his mantra is, ‘We are going to do what’s best for kids.’ Our staff has heard this phrase hundreds of times! This value is what drives his decision-making as an administrator.”
Troughton’s unwavering commitment to continuous improvement has truly had a lasting influence on his students, his colleagues and his community.
“I remain as impressed as ever with his professional dedication, consistency and humility in carrying out his service to our district,” wrote Corning Union HSD Superintendent Jared Taylor. “As Charlie looks to retirement this spring, I am grateful to have had him as my boss, colleague, friend and employee. He is an incredible blessing to students and staff.”
What’s your favorite book or quote on leadership? One of my favorite books on leadership was the simple little book called “What Great Principals Do Differently: Fifteen Things that Matter Most” by Todd Whitaker. One quote from it states: “There are really two ways to improve a school significantly: 1. Get better teachers; 2. Improve the teachers you have.” These have been my underlying efforts at Corning High School.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? A former superintendent in our district once said to me “What gets monitored gets done.” I have applied that to being in classrooms often to positively reinforce good instruction all the time.
What’s your best strategy for work-life balance? I’ve tried to work hard at getting everything I can completed during the workday and not take it home with me. Once in a while it’s necessary, but as a general rule, I separate them out. It took a few years to get to that place.
What are some life hacks that you would recommend for a new administrator? Keep at the heart of school culture the commitment and focus on good instruction in the classroom every day.
What would people be surprised to learn about you? People might be surprised that I am a diverse character involved in making music, watching sports, worshipping God, hanging with my wife, eating with friends, leading worship in a church, hunting and shooting, preaching from the Bible, and camping in Modoc County, while working hard to promote effective teaching for student learning, etc., etc.!
What made you want to become a school administrator? I didn’t want to become an administrator; I got into education to teach and coach. It wasn’t until I was approached by the superintendent and the principal at the time to consider administration. They gave me the opportunity to stay focused on good teaching across the campus.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome to get where you are? Being committed to and being relentless about good instruction as the key to a good school over time.
What are you most proud of accomplishing? I have worked for most of my administrative career in the realm of promoting good teaching in the classroom and being the instructional leader. Since I believe that daily classroom instruction and student engagement is the highest priority for schools, I see a staff of teachers at our school doing great things to foster student learning for all students. It feels good to have been a part of that.
How has ACSA supported you in your career/current position?
The regional conferences for professional learning and the opportunities to honor students in our county has been a consistent joy and strength in my ACSA Tehama role.
Charlie Troughton, who lost his leg at age 19, has shared his personal story with students.
Charlie Troughton would often reiterate to staff, “We are going to do what’s best for kids.”
After 30 years at Corning Union High School District, Charlie Troughton is retiring.