A New Legacy: Principal Tom Harmas discusses CHS culture, plans as incoming principal


James Yin, Reporter, Photographer

Q: Why did you agree to become the principal of CHS?

A: I think anytime that you look at everything that is Carmel High School from the outside, you think what a great school with students who come ready to learn everyday, with teachers who are here to engage students to all the extracurriculars, whether it be newspaper, yearbook, band, choir, orchestra, all the athletics. Everything that makes up the entire culture of Carmel High School is just so intriguing and so exciting. To have that opportunity to be part of it, I couldn’t turn that down.


Q: How are you going to support that culture of CHS?

A: I think anytime you are a principal of any building, you need to be supportive of all parts of your school. That goes from academics, to athletics, to extracurricular and so forth, performing arts. You look at all those things that go on in Carmel High School and how outstanding those students are in those aspects. Just to be there at a band concert and hear them play, to be at an Ambassador program and hear them sing, to see our kids on the stage, you’re kind of in awe. We know that our athletics program has many state championships, even one this year. It is outstanding. We know that our students aspire to be great in the classroom, and they show that so quite often. At the board meetings, when I go, every time there’s been someone from Carmel High School who’s been honored because of their academic prowess or their national awarded performing arts or national awards in athletics. And when I look at that, it just makes me really proud that our kids work so hard, and our coaches and teachers work so hard to get our kids there. Am I going to be supportive? Without a doubt. I’m excited about that aspect of Carmel High School.


Q: How else are you going to connect to the student body?

A: The only reason I’m in education is because of students. Students are always going to be the focus. The number one aspect of any principal should be that. Being honest with you, I really like kids, and I like being around kids. That’s my favorite part of the job. It’s not sitting in the office. It’s not doing paperwork. It’s about being in the middle of kids, whether it be in the classroom, or whether it’s in the hallway. My personality is to engage with the students.

Q: What are you plans for the upcoming year?
A: I’ve said this repeatedly, but my biggest challenge is getting to understand the whole Carmel High School culture and getting to understand how it works. Not only do I have to understand these are great programs and these are outstanding teachers, but I have to know how it works and why it works, and how we continue to make it work. To be able to ask all kinds of questions next year. I have an entire list of people that I want to talk to, the subjects that I want to talk to them about, just to get a better understanding of Carmel High school. This year is about engagement, engagement with the students, engagement with the faculty, engagement with the staff, the parents and letting them get to know me, and me to get to know them.