Jim Cartnal is the Principal at La Canada High, has served as an Assistant and Associate Principal for Curriculum and Instruction, and taught US and World history at LCHS for nine years.
Mr. Cartnal was raised in Covina, California, a city about twenty-five miles east of Los Angeles and about 20 minutes away from LCHS. He attended the University of California, Irvine, where he majored in history and minored in German language and literature and global peace and conflict studies. During his fourth year at UC Irvine, he studied in Goettingen Germany, attending Georg-August Universitaet. In 1999, he completed his Master's degree in history at San Francisco State University and started his teaching career, working at a private school in Los Altos Hills, California. In 2001, Mr. Cartnal completed his single subject teaching credential in Social Science at SFSU and returned to southern California and joined the faculty of La Canada High School shortly thereafter. His academic interests include the foreign relations of the Atlantic world, with a particular focus on German-American relations in the 20th century and educational leadership, with an emphasis on curriculum development, teaching methodologies, and building of Developmental Assets.
When Mr. Cartnal is away from LCHS, he enjoys many pursuits, although his favorites include traveling, reading, sports, scouting, and spending time with his family. When writing a brief biographical statement, Mr. Cartnal believes it appropriate to provide some insight into the thoughts and ideas that animate his career as an educator. Though there are many, he finds the following sentiments to be a particularly forceful call to and for humankind.
"Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity."
Antioch College, 1859