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Paradise principal moving on after Camp Fire

Action News Now spoke with Paradise High School Principal Loren Lighthall about why he's resigning and moving his family out of town.

Posted: Apr 10, 2019 6:03 PM
Updated: Apr 11, 2019 1:40 PM

CHICO, Calif. - It's a big loss for Paradise High School as their beloved principal is moving away.

"We're excited to kind of move on even though it’s really sad and tormenting in a lot of ways it's what’s best for the family," said Loren Lighthall, principal of Paradise High School. 

Lighthall has 7 kids and right now he's living with five of them in a three-bedroom apartment in Chico.

"We've been here going on 5 months so it’s just we can’t do this month after month year after year we have to live somewhere where we can raise a family appropriately," Lighthall said.

Not only is the housing situation a problem, but it has also been hard trying to find a sense of normalcy for his family again.

"Just the trauma of the situation everywhere you go whether it’s like church it's like a pity party and your reminded of the fire and reminded of the school and it's in this alternate location and you're reminded of the fire or you come home and you hear this train that’s running through your house it feels like and you're reminded of the fire," he said.

Lighthall said his students are really stepping up.

"They're trying to find me housing saying, "Lighthall, I have a house you can stay in you can stay with us and we're going to move I hate to leave but they've been super supportive though.'" 

"Wherever he goes he's going to make the school better in every way cause he's just got a great personality he takes the time to learn everybody’s name he take the time to talk individually with every student at some point in the day," a student said.

"I think that most people will miss my dad even the seniors are like yeah dude if your dad was gone we'd be in trouble," a student said.

"Everybody wants him to stay everybody loves him and its good for him though that he's got a house now it’s good for him but it’s sad for us but we're happy for him," a student said.

Lighthall says he knows Paradise and his students will rise again.

"Paradise High School is amazing they have great kids they have a great staff and they're going to rebuild that community and they're going to persist and survive its bigger than me or any one person building it’s about those kids and they're good kids and their families its going to take a while but they're going to get there," Lighthall said.

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