A day in the life of principal Greg Louie

September 25, 2022 — by Beverly Xu
Photo by Beverly Xu
Principal Greg Louie steals a big bite of his patented peanut butter and jelly sandwich, while checking his email.
Have you ever wondered what gym Mr. Louie goes to? Or what he eats for lunch? Here it is.

As one of the busiest people on campus, principal Greg Louie, now in his fourth year at the helm of the school, has a  structured, demanding routine — but one he deeply enjoys.

Every school morning, Louie wakes up to his alarm clock ringing at 4:30. He hits the snooze button just once (or so he says), climbs out of bed and begins his comprehensive morning routine. 

After shaving and brushing his teeth, he heads to the 49ers Fit gym in Westgate Mall, one that some staff like English teacher Erick Rector tend to avoid due to the number of students that regularly exercise there.

“I don’t want to be working out with kids,” Rector said. “If I were to do that, I’d be a P.E. teacher.”

But Louie braves it all and exercises until it’s time to go to school. 

At around 7:45 a.m., he drives to school, unlocks his glass office door and greets staff members, including his secretary, Alison Montgomery, activities secretary Anna Ybarra and attendance secretary Mandy Armes. He then sits down on his desk and checks his email for any urgent messages that need to be addressed. On a typical day, Louie receives around 150 to 200 emails.

Before the first period of the day, he supervises the crosswalk near the McAfee Center and the music building, greeting students as they are getting dropped off, sometimes wondering why they don’t reply when he says “Good morning” or why their parents don’t wave back

Following the beginning of first period, Louie prepares for and attends a variety of meetings and visits classrooms where he can be visible to students and staff. His favorite visits are when he walks into a class and students are actively engaged in the lesson and the teacher is glowing with joy.

Finding Louie during class periods can be tough. Besides having to go to meetings, he roams around campus and peeks into classrooms. He prioritizes new teachers and classes, so that he can observe the teaching and learning environment.

“My favorite part of the day is saying hello to students,” he said. “Most of our interactions are positive and professional, with the focus on doing what’s best for our students, our staff and our school.”

Throughout the day, Louie also makes sure to check in with his counseling partner, Monique Young. They are in charge of freshmen and sophomores with last names A-F and juniors and seniors with last names A-G.

Louie admits lunchtime can be unpredictable, since he eats in his office whenever he has the time to. His go-to, everyday lunch boasts a self-made peanut butter and jelly sandwich with whole wheat bread, as well as a few pieces of fruit and a cheese stick. So essentially, the lunch of a very young student.

Once he finishes his lunch, he answers his voicemails and checks his calendar for the next day so that he can make a to-do list. Assuming that no meetings or presentations are holding him back, Louie finally heads home at around 6 p.m. After arriving home, he and his family sometimes settle down to watch a sports game such as the San Francisco Giants game on TV. 

Near the end of his day, Louie unironically writes in an email (sent at 8:46 p.m.), “I sit in my recliner answering emails until about 9 p.m. before I call it a night and go to bed.”

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