March 4, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

School District Fills Administrative Openings:

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District has been firming up its administrative staff in time for the opening of school after Labor Day.

Superintendent Dianne Talarico, who began to oversee the District on August 14, has asked the School Board to approve a three-year contract appointing Tim Walker as Deputy Superintendent. Walker has been serving as Interim Superintendent since Interim Superintendent Michael Matthews left the District and had also been serving as Assistant Superintendent of Special Education and Educational Services.

According to the Board’s August 31 agenda, this appointment “will result in a reduction of two positions at the senior cabinet level, leaving a team of three individuals.” The three positions are the Superintendent, the Deputy Superintendent and the Chief Financial Officer. “This consolidation of responsibilities is taken as an initial step in the Superintendent’s reorganization of the internal structure in central office leadership and will provide stability as the Superintendent does a thorough assessment of central office organization.”

Also on August 31, the Board will consider the approval of the appointment of Dr. Hugo A. Pedroza as Principal of Santa Monica High School (SAMOHI). Pedroza has over 20 years of experience and is coming to the District after serving as principal of Manual Arts High School, a 4,200-student school in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Pedroza is replacing Dr. Ilene Straus who, after being SAMOHI’s Principal for four years, became the District’s Senior Director of Secondary Education.

The Board has also has filled the principal positions at Santa Monica’s two middle schools. Martha Shaw has been named the new Principal for John Adams Middle School on August 17. Shaw has served as Vice Principal at Lincoln Middle School in Santa Monica, Principal of Lawndale Elementary School and Principal of the Will Rogers Intermediate School in the Lawndale School District.

Lincoln Middle School’s new Principal is Tristan Komlos. The Board appointed her on July 27, after she served two years as M House Principal at SAMOHI. Prior to that, she was a grade level Principal at Memorial High School in Houston.

Replacing Komlos at SAMOHI will be Becky Romano, whose appointment was approved by the Board on August 17. She recently was an Assistant Principal at Fresno and Pacifica High Schools in California.

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