The dedication was a surprise; Lamas had been told he’d be attending an associated student body luncheon on Jan. 28, not a naming ceremony.
“I was stunned,” said Lamas, the high school’s principal for 13 years. “I’m still having a hard time digesting it.”
Mike Falcon, school custodian, came up with the idea to name the facility after Lamas a couple of years ago. Student adviser Ruth Senske organized the dedication and received permission from the Oxnard Union High School District for the sign—all without Lamas knowing.
Senske said Lamas deserves the honor because he’s dedicated to the school and students.
She said the continuation high school has seen its share of principals, but Lamas has remained a constant at Frontier and doesn’t plan on leaving anytime soon, she said.
“Going from principal to principal turns a school upside down,” Senske said. “The whole flavor of the school changes. The kids know what to expect with having someone consistent.”
Donna McNair, a school secretary, has worked with Lamas since he arrived. She said he has an open-door policy and works well with the students.
“He doesn’t have a cookie-cutter idea of how he does things,” McNair said. “He handles each case individually. When these kids need anything he always listens.”
McNair said the school has a smaller student body and staff than other high schools in the area so there’s a family atmosphere. There’s more individual attention for students, and Lamas ensures the students have the resources and opportunities they need to graduate.
Senske said Lamas is a firm believer in second chances.
” He’s very fair and isn’t afraid to have fun with the kids, but if there’s a problem he takes care of it,” Senske said. “It takes a special person to be at our school. We have kids who haven’t had a fair chance in life, and it takes someone who is really understanding and will go the extra mile.”
Lamas said he’s able to do his job because he works with great people and everybody feels at home with each other at the school.
“I’m humbled and honored, and I appreciate the support I get from my staff, the district and the community,” Lamas said.