Former principal speaks out on Damonte’s departure from DPMHS

 To the Editor: 

I kept silent about this assignment, Pia Damonte, when this happened. I won’t be silent now. 

This person was placed at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School by the admins at Local District Northwest, not by interview committee. She pitched a fit, threw a temper tantrum directed at the local superintendent, Joseph Nacorda. She never wanted to go to DPMHS. This is exactly why you don’t place people. 

I wrote a well thought-out letter to Joseph Nacorda offering my thoughts about the kind of person Daniel Pearl Magnet High School needed, and my letter was ignored. I remained silent about this as I retired and left the school, so I did not tarnish her opportunity to do her best work for the school that I loved so much. 

When the District says they care about kids, families, and teachers and then they do this, the facade of their caring comes off. They care about one thing and one thing only~ themselves. I spent 7 years at DPMHS, and although I made mistakes, I knew the school and the type of leader it would need. The parents and faculty deserved to have their voices in this decision, but no one asked or invited them because Superintendent Joseph Nacorda had a “must-place” employee that he had to displace from his office. This past year for this person was nothing more than a place-holder… a place holder on the backs of students that deserved the best. 

Going forward, I truly hope the next leader has a love for this school, compassion for its uniqueness and the gifts within the students that attend. Daniel Pearl Magnet High School is a true gem, it should be regarded as one of the best LAUSD has to offer, and deserves the very best leadership. 


Deb Smith, Former Principal, Daniel Pearl Magnet HS