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School Board Fills Three Key Posts

By Lookout Staff

August 24 -- The School Board named three principals to head the city’s two middle schools and one of the “houses” at Santa Monica High School, quickly filling a “power void” before the start of the school year.

Martha Shaw -- who has been principal of Lawndale Elementary School and Will Rogers Intermediate School in Lawndale -- will take over the top post at John Adams Middle School (JAMS).

A former vice principal of Lincoln Middle School in Santa Monica, Shaw has been responsible for developing, coordinating, and implementing innovative programs to boost student achievement.

Shaw started her career as a classroom teacher in both general and special education. She received a B.S. in Secondary Education/Social Studies from the University of Georgia and an M.A. in Secondary Education/Special Education from Murray State University.

In a separate move, Tristan Komlos will leave her post as a House Principal at Santa Monica High School to take over the vacant principal’s post at Lincoln Middle School.

A former English teacher and high school principal in Texas, Komlos earned a B.A. in English from the University of Texas at Austin and a Masters in Education from the University of Houston.

“She has proven to be a strong and highly respected instructional leader with strong support from students, parents, teachers and staff,” district officials said in a statement issued Wednesday.

Komlos’ post at Samohi will be filled by Becky Romano, who most recently served as assistant Principal at Fresno High School and Pacifica High School. She also has served as an activities director.

Romano “is a highly respected instructional leader with significant curriculum experience,” district officials said. “Her leadership skills and enthusiasm will be a great addition to the Santa Monica High School staff.”

Romano has a B.A. in History from Fresno State University and a Masters in Education Administration from Azuza Pacific University.

Also this month, the School Board tapped Dr. Hugo A. Pedroza – who headed a predominantly Hispanic inner city high school in Los Angeles – as the new principal of Santa Monica High School. (see story)

Pedroza’s appointment came one month after Dianne Talarico -- who as superintendent turned around Canton, Ohio schools and boosted student achievement -- was hired to fill the district’s top post. (see story)

The key appointments fill a “power void” brought on by the resignation of Superintendent Dr. John E. Deasy in February. (see story)

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