Hector Medrano and John Misustin have joined Santa Monica High School as new House Principals. The pair’s appointment was approved at the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District board meeting on June 25.
Medrano comes to SMMUSD from Santa Ana Unified School District, where he has been serving as Assistant Principal at Carr Intermediate School for the past year.
He also served as Assistant Principal at Century High School and Activities Director at Mater Dei High School, both in the Santa Ana USD.
Prior to that, he served as Assistant Principal at View Park Charter School in LAUSD, Activities Director at Millikan High School in Long Beach Unified School District, and Activities Director and College Counselor at Rolling Hills Prep School in Palos Verdes.
Medrano has also taught social studies and coached boys’ soccer.
Medrano’s 26 years of experience provides him with a deep understanding of the secondary school setting.
As Assistant Principal, he dedicated himself to all aspects of the school, including implementation of and staff training in Common Core State Standards, budget development, extra-curricular activities, technology integration, extra-curricular activities, community outreach, and WASC accreditation.
Medrano’s peers describe him as responsible, kind, honest, dedicated, enthusiastic, and one who leads by example.
Under his leadership, staff were inspired to improve upon their teaching using data-driven and researched-based strategies, and students benefited from his balance of strictness and fairness. Medrano is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Meanwhile, Misustin comes to SMMUSD from the Antelope Valley Union High School District, where he has been serving as Assistant Principal of Desert Winds High School for the past two years.
He also served as the Vice Principal of Athletics, Special Education, and Alternative Placement at Antelope Valley High School; CASHEE Intervention and Instructional Support Coordinator and AVID Coordinator at Eastside High School; Healthful Living Teacher and Administrative Intern at William J. “Pete” Knight High School; and Gang Violence Suppression Coordinator; all with the Antelope Valley Union High School District. He has also coached baseball and served on the school site council.
As Assistant Principal, Misustin oversaw many of the day-to-day operations of the school, including site-based academic programs and curriculum, the special education instructional program, master scheduling, athletic programs, evaluation of staff, and state- and federally-mandated testing.
Misustin is well-versed in best practices for creating safe and supportive schools that encourage all students in the learning process.
He coordinated the AVID program to ensure not only compliance but also student success; implemented a targeted CAHSEE program to improve passage rates for at-risk students; created and implemented a master schedule to ensure special education program efficacy; participated on the district’s Healthful Living Curriculum Committee; and oversaw student mentoring programs.
In order to encourage positive student behavior, Misustin planned and hosted a Teen Summit for 2,000 high school students.