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The Growl

The Growl

Terry Abernathy: The man with a plan

Terry Abernathy poses with a Virtual Enterprise student at the Western Expo event.

Walking into school, you feel a sense of fatigue and sadness as you think: “Man, another day.” Before long, however, you hear a familiar voice shout, “Fire It Up!” And instantly, a smile comes across your face.

Terry Abernathy is the new principal of South Hills High School. After graduating from Pomona High School in 1986, Abernathy went to Citrus College, transferred to Cal State Fullerton to obtain a bachelor’s in Liberal Studies, and finally ended up at Cal Poly Pomona.

“I received my teaching credential from Cal Poly, and then I decided after about four years of teaching, I entered into a master’s program where I got my master’s in educational leadership.  I also received my administration credential at that time,” Abernathy said.

Abernathy began his teaching career in the Hacienda La Puente School District. He taught at the elementary school level. After a few years, however, he was asked to lead the transition from Lassalette Elementary School to Lassalette Middle School.

“I was able to take a cohort of about 106 students through sixth, seventh, and eighth grade. We added a grade each year starting with sixth grade and it was an awesome experience to work with those kids and see them grow and mature, ready to go to La Puente High School,” Abernathy said.

Many schools have something they value in a school setting that they prioritize. In Abernathy’s philosophy, he believes that building relationships can lead to success in school.

“Kids don’t learn unless they know you care. I’ve always made that a priority. I don’t just want to know a student’s name, I want to know their story, I want to meet their parents, I want to do whatever I can to be a part of their life. I think we hold each other accountable.”

Abernathy isn’t only about academics though. From being a coach and fan of the LA sports teams to joining the Huskies out on the field before he became principal, Abernathy was eager to show his dedication to South Hills.

“I figure whatever is in season, I’ll go to. If it’s a cheer event, I’ll go to it if it’s pom, dance, or anything else. I’ve been to band events already. So anything that’s in season doesn’t matter what it is. If it’s a club rush, I’m out there,” Abernathy said.

If you follow Abernathy on Instagram, you may have received a going-live notification from his account. From going live at school events to showcasing something a class is doing, Abernathy goes live to do one thing: Show what it’s like to be a Husky.

“I’ve always felt like I have to reach the audience no matter what and I feel like going live is authentic. I could film a video and edit and people would never know. I want to be authentic and show that our kids have respect and they understand how and when to act. What to say and what not to say. I’ve always felt like it’s a testament to what we do here,” Abnerathy said. 

After working in the education system as a teacher, and principal, and later at the District level in Fontana, Abernathy has decided he will finish his career as a Husky.

“This is the place I want to end my career. I just don’t know when. It can’t end before 2029 so I’ve got another six years here and hopefully more,” Abernathy said.


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About the Contributor
Kaeleb Hanson
Kaeleb Hanson, Editor
Hey! My name is Kaeleb Hanson and if you’ve read Growl last year then you may have seen some of my articles floating around. It’s my second year here and unfortunately, my last year since I'm a senior now. But that isn’t going to prevent me from writing about topics or people I think are important! I hope to make an impact on the school as a whole and give a voice to the stories of South Hills.
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