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Welcome to Turtleback


Terrapins, you are special and loved.  You are capable of doing amazing things!  
Continue making each day great! 

Principal's Message

Dear Terrapin Families,

It is with great honor that I introduce myself as the principal of Turtleback Elementary.  I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to be the principal of the school where my teaching career began. I am committed to public education because it has the power to change individual lives, as well as our collective life as a nation and world community.  As Turtleback’s principal and instructional leader, I look forward to supporting the great work of the Terrapin teachers and staff. As a team, I am confident that we will continue to rise to the increasing need for creating opportunities for each and every diverse learner.


I grew up in Scripps Ranch, a suburb just south of Poway and graduated from Scripps Ranch High School.  After high school I went on to attend the University of California Santa Barbara and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Sociology and a minor in English.  After UCSB, I returned home to San Diego and received my teaching credential from California State University San Marcos.  Then the real learning began!  I taught Kindergarten, First, Fourth and Fifth grades at Turtleback Elementary, and during that time pursued an administrative credential and Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from California State University, San Marcos. Once the program was completed, I worked as Assistant Principal at Stone Ranch Elementary School from 2013-2017.  Following that great experience, I worked closely with students, teachers and parents as Principal of Kate Sessions Elementary School in Pacific Beach before returning to Poway.  Outside of school I am family first!  I currently live in Tierrasanta with my two sons Tanner (14) and Grayson (8), and daughter Emrie (10).


I look forward to starting 2023 with enthusiasm, unwavering belief and a continued focus on collaboratively supporting each and every student.  Together we are going to have a very positive school year focused on growth and being the best we can be.  Together we make Turtleback a thriving learning community where every member feels valued and connected.  Go Terrapins!



The Luckiest Principal in the World,

Adam Carlin 


Parking Lot Requests:

Please remember when using the morning drop off line please follow these simple rules in order to keep the line moving. We are really trying to increase efficiency and safety and would appreciate everyone following these rules so we can keep this drop off system going for everyone!

Birthday Celebrations

We ask that if you choose to celebrate your child’s  birthday at school, please do so in a healthy way. Please do not bring food to school, but you can:  
  • Have your child bring their favorite book to share and the  teacher or child will read it to the class. 
  • Donate a book, ball,  jump rope (new or used) to the classroom for recess. 
  • Choose a favorite song or musical piece to sing or play for the class. 
  • Bring a colorful pencil, sticker, eraser, or simple goodie bags for the entire  class with safe items (no  balloons, or food items, etc.). 
  • Only bring party invitations if every student in the class is invited.