The Craig School: the story behind the name

The name “Craig” is significant to the program and its history. Craig refers to an idealized character (“Cool Craig”) that is familiar to both staff and families of the program.

Cool Craig was developed as a puppet character in the early days of our heritage program at UC Irvine, used as a model of emotional regulation and assertion in our social skills curriculum (as compared to other characters “Wimpy Wally” and “Mean Max”).

There were many names considered in homage to people who were foundational to the development of our school’s programming including Dr. Francis Crinella, Dr. James Swanson, and Dr. Ronald Kotkin. We also considered honoring some of our founding donors and board members.

Ultimately, however, TCS was created by a community of care, and to chose any one individual would be unfair to the many others who played equal, significant roles in establishing TCS in the Irvine community.

In just the short time since we opened enrollment in 2019, our acronym, TCS, swiftly became our moniker; widely adopted by students, parents, school districts and professionals referencing our school and we will retain the TCS moniker.

We will also retain our mascot “Cool Craig the Chameleon” and our motto: “Blend in when you need to and stand out when you want to!” which conveys our emphasis on self-agency and the supportive and caring ethos of our environment.