New principal, new goals for school

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By Carlos Godoy
Sports Editor:

After serving a smaller school, with a shorter day schedule and having students attend fewer days a week, Daniel Pearl Magnet High School’s (DPMHS) new principal, Deborah Smith, has yet to adjust to the school’s busy environment.
Earlier in the summer, former Principal Janet Kiddoo accepted a promotion and now works next door as the Instructional Director for High Schools at Local District 1 which is now named Educational Service Center North (ESC North).
“I’m glad Ms. Smith is the new principal because she has the heart and mind to continue what we started,” Kiddoo said. “She understands it and what we were trying to do.”
Smith graduated from the University of Florida with a B.A. in elementary education and from Phillips Graduate Institute with a master’s degree in organizational behavior.
“My teaching career started as a third grade teacher in Arcadia, FL. I then moved to Cincinnati, OH, but there were no jobs,” Smith said. “I went and got a job at a nearby hospital where I taught emotionally disturbed kids.”
Years later, Smith moved to Los Angeles, continuing her teaching career with special education students.
Before her move to Independence High School in 2007, she worked at district offices for eight years and has been in four different schools: Holmes Middle School, Valley Alternative, Monroe High School and Sun Valley Middle School.
“I actually had split schedule, going from one school to the other. Sun Valley in the morning and Holmes Valley Alternative in the afternoon,” Smith said.
Smith had actually known Kiddoo since she became a principal at DPMHS in 2009.
During the past school years, some students from DPMHS have partnered up with students from Independence High School through the blood drive and prom as well.
The head of ESC North, Linda Del Cueto, selected Smith for the position at DPMHS.
“People who are interested in the position send an application to the district,” said science teacher Stephen Schaffter. “A pool is selected for interview by the district
Now as principal of DPMHS, Smith has many goals she wants to accomplish.
“With the increasing enrollment, we can secure teachers or even add some teachers and have more classes. Also it’d be great to be able to expand our journalism program,” Smith said.
Besides being principal, Smith has an active lifestyle outside of school.
“I’m a long distance swimmer and bike rider. I’ve actually ridden from San Francisco to Los Angeles five times,” Smith said.
For three days a week, Smith enjoys Tae Kwon Do and is currently a yellow belt. She swims almost every day and does yoga on the weekends.

Photo by Yuliya Kipnis. New Principal Deborah Smith shows off the mural of the Daniel Pearl Magnet High School logo in the main hallway near the main office during lunchtime.

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