Former principal finds way back home

Esteban Serrano, Lead Editor

As first reported by the Aeries Communication System earlier in the school year, Principal Stephen Walswick, active since the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year, would be leaving with his family to go back to his home in California.

Before he left, he was busy. Getting a graduation together during COVID, he said was tough, as well as finishing some other things before he left.

In an exclusive interview before he left, I got to talk face to face with Walswick about his journey here, and the journey that lies ahead for him.

“When I first came to Central, even before I was hired, I knew it was the right place for me because I felt so much peace just being with the faculty and the students and walking around the building- I didn’t feel like a stranger at all,” Walswick says. “”Even though it was a challenging process, I felt at peace.”

Living in San Antonio for three years, Walswick says he loves food, and has grown to appreciate the uniqueness cuisine down here in San Antonio. “What I found in San Antonio is excellent Middle-Eastern cuisine. It’s much more available here in San Antonio, than it is here in Southern California.” He continues, “I am going to miss queso. Good chips and queso have been phenomenal, and tortillas from HEB are just amazing. The food and the Catholic community of San Antonio is really close. There’s a lot of people coming together in spirit. There’s a much more united Archdiocese here in San Antonio, which I will miss that experience as well.” As for sights and places, Walswick says the Botanical Garden and the Witte Museum were two places he and his family really enjoyed attending.

He describes the community of Central as “amazing.” He also says he has experienced generosity and love from alumni to students and parents, and that really made him feel at peace. “As I came over the first couple of months as being principal, I would describe it as eerily similar.” He is talking about the school he used to be principal at in California- Servite High School in Anaheim. This school as well being an all-boys school that honors another character of Mary. The school he is very familiar with, primarily because of his high school education being from there. “Am I ever going to get out of all-male education?” Walswick said jokingly.

The conversation then led to a possible controversial topic between Servite, and Central. Walswick was asked who would win in a football game. Walswick says that Central for sure, would not win the game. Luckily for Central Catholic fans, there would be some hope, Walswick says. “If they played a basketball game, it would be highly competitive. If they played soccer, I would put my money on Central for soccer. Golf would go to Servite. Swimming would go to Servite. The academic team would go to Central for sure,” he says.

Walswick valued the question, and was excited to answer it, primarily because of this that he had to say, “What’s nice about it is that there is a healthy spirit of competitiveness among boys. It doesn’t mean that when you have a loser, it suggests that one is better than the other, but, there are so many other variables that can contribute to that moment that you have to perform. To make the assumption that one is better than the other I think is, a fallacy. In that moment, there was a victor, but that they’re better. They’re both really good schools, and I am proud to have been apart of both of them.” Walswick continued to say this, “One day, I would love to see Central play Servite in something.”

He continues with a sense of seriousness, “It’s good for us to come together and learn. It was good for me to come here and learn about Central Catholic. I am going to be a better principal by having moved to San Antonio, and meet other people and learn new things that I can take back to Servite.” He continues, “I took Mr. Ybarra to Servite a few years ago, and we went to a freshman orientation. The freshmen that came in 2019, got to experience a Central Catholic version of what they do at Servite, which is a multi-day orientation, where they come together as brothers and have a good time, are challenged, and learn what it means to be a part of the school community.”

Walswick was then asked about his favorite thing about Central Catholic. Without hesitation, he said that the “rich history and culture,” was what he loved most. “”I’ve never been part of an institution that is this old, and the pride is so strong. The alumni base is so strong and I have never experienced that. Talking with the brothers who have worked here for fifty plus years- just being a part of that history has been one of the greatest moments of my time here. I learned so much and I respect that so much from here.”

Walswick also answers the question of why he is moving back to California. He had this to say: “There are a lot of reasons, but the top reason is this… One of the reasons why we left California is because we grew up in Southern California, we went to school in Southern California, we never left or lived anywhere else. We had wanted to move somewhere else and we had looked internationally, and I was supposed to teach overseas. I do think it is valuable, and we wanted to experience a different culture and a different place to understand different things. My wife and kids agreed to do this, and to make the sacrifice to come to San Antonio. It was going fine and I think part of the problem that we found was now that when it was time for me to consider renewing my contract, our thought was if everyone was willing to commit to another three years? When I brought it up, my wife and kids were just not as enthusiastic or open about it. The pandemic and other things led them to being more concerned about being so far from family. I need to make sure that they have proper support in place so when I can’t be there for them, and they willingly accept that, that they have lots of other support available to them.”

Walswick will be back at Servite in Anaheim, but he says that he is very thankful to the people he’s met and worked with for the past three years at Central Catholic. Dr. Lee Hernandez will now serve as the school’s next principal, starting in the fall.

Ben Vazquez
Mr. Cassler