Life is Better with Drake

Madisen Tucker, Editor-in-Chief

Falcons received the news earlier this week announcing that Mr. Drake would be stepping down as principal and retiring.

Mr. Drake was named principal by former Superintendent Dr. Smith in the 2018-2019 school year.  This was after spending two years in Alvin ISD, 28 years in La Porte ISD, and eight years in Clear Creek ISD.

“I think Dr. Smith had a purpose for me being here,” Mr. Drake said. “Lake has a long legacy of excellence and I think he put me here to build those relationships with students back.”

Mr. Drake has now been with CCISD for 12 years.

Even though he has spent 42 years of his life invested in a career in education, that was not always what he wanted to do.

“I wanted to coach when I first got out of college because I played baseball and football in high school,” Mr. Drake said.

According to Mr. Drake, coaches typically spend too much away from their families throughout the week.

“As I started having kids and moving through my first eight or nine years of teaching, I realized that I didn’t want to spend time away from my family to pursue coaching,” Mr. Drake said.

Mr. Drake claims that it was the influence of the role models around him that led to him working with students.

“The role models I had when I was in school,” Mr. Drake said. “Watching them learning and building those relationships with kids was the biggest inspiration for me.”

During his high school years, he attended Cy-Fair High School in Cypress, Texas. According to Mr. Drake, it was his principal at Cy-Fair that he tries to be like for students at Lake.

“A lot of the things I’ve done I have modeled after my high school principal – I probably never said two words to that man,” Mr. Drake said. “He was always present and positive; you could tell that he cared about kids.”

Mr. Drake believes that if you enjoy your job, you won’t feel like you have to work a day in your life.

“There hasn’t been a day, even on a day where we expect tough situations, that I have felt like my job is actually work,” Mr. Drake said.

However, there have been times where being in administration has been difficult for all of the staff.

“COVID was definitely a real big challenge,” Mr. Drake said. “Staff worked really hard to keep everyone informed and connected but it was tough for all of us.”

According to Mr. Drake, the first month of the community dealing with COVID he made more effort to keep in contact with everyone. This started a habit for him, in which he would call a small selection of different staff members each night to check on them.

“During that time, we did a lot of YouTube videos, messages, meetings,” Mr. Drake said. “We did that because we were all dealing with something we had never seen before and it was crucial that we stay connected.”

Before COVID, Mr. Drake claims his biggest challenge was bringing the building back together. His first year on the campus was the first year that students and staff would be in the new building.

“One of my goals was to instill character back into the campus, and bring everyone closer together,” Mr. Drake said.

After Mr. Drake announced his retirement, students have been pondering what the future of Lake is going to look like.

“I think the future of CLHS is bright,” Mr. Drake said. “I think my successor will continue to do a lot of the things that I’m currently doing.”

Mr. Drake believes that being transparent with staff and students is important for everyone. He also acknowledged the shift in the community’s demographics in the past years.

“Lake’s demographics have changed over the last years and it’ll be a challenge adapting to that,” Mr. Drake said. “Instead of lowering standards I want to raise up those kids so that they meet our expectations and standards without getting left behind.”

Mr. Drake looks forward to spending more time with his family following his retirement. As of right now he has no travel plans set in stone, but he has hopes for some.

“When my wife retires, we have it on our bucket list to go to Hawaii,” Mr. Drake said.

In his spare time Mr. Drake enjoys woodworking and fixing up things around the house.

“We have a little cabin up on the Trinity River,” Mr. Drake said. “My wife and I have been working on that by ourselves.”

According to Mr. Drake he also enjoys working out and working on his golf game.

“I love playing golf but haven’t had the time,” Mr. Drake said. “So, I want to get back out there and do that.”

Mr. Drake claims that he is a big family man and is very thankful that his children allow him to be such a big portion in his grandkids’ lives.

“I’m very fortunate that [my wife and I] are such a big part of my grandchildren’s lives,” Mr. Drake said. “To be involved with them is everything to me.”

What led Mr. Drake to being a part of CCISD was not getting the job as Superintendent of La Porte ISD.

“I learned the lesson that you don’t hang around the district that you didn’t get the Sup job for,” Mr. Drake said. “Because the person who did get the job doesn’t really trust you.”

However, he doesn’t regret working for CCISD and claims that he wouldn’t leave the school if it was in a bad place.

“I would hope that I made an impact on the students because I tried to be involved, I tried to be there, the best part of being a principal is getting to know the kids, that’s better than any salary can pay.”