Petrossian hopes to build community as new principal of DPMHS

The new principal begins his new position on Oct. 5.


Armen Petrossian

Armen Petrossian is set to assume the role of principal at DPMHS on Oct. 5.

Gabrielle Lashley

After five applicants were interviewed for the new principal position, Armen Petrossian rose above the rest. He was hired for the position of principal and will be assuming this position on Oct. 5.

“I found out that it was a calling to work with kids,” said Petrossian, who was an assistant principal at Pacoima Middle School. “It was what I was meant to do. From there, it was a natural progression to become a teacher and a counselor. I wanted to continue my calling for education, that’s why I started working for LAUSD.”

After Principal Pia Damonte left after one year and interim principal Linda Ibach was assigned to oversee the school, the district put together a search committee that met on Sept. 11, to discuss who would become the new principal. After reviewing 11 applications for the job, interviewing five and sending their top three candidates to the district, Petrossian was given the position due to his experience with LAUSD and his ability to care for the community, according to Debra Mcintyre-Sciarrino, a Community of Schools Administrator. 

“At Pacoima Middle school, I learned a lot of things but one of the most important things… was how to build a community,” Petrossian said. “During the interview before they hired me, the principal and the director for the school asked ‘when you leave, what do you hope (the students of Pacoima Middle) will say about you.’ I said ‘I hope that they say that I cared.”

Petrossian believes that being able to listen and collaborate with students, teachers, staff and parents is one of the most important aspects of being a principal. After being in different educational positions over the course of 31 years, he says he’s really learned how to become a part of a community and grow with it as a family, which is why he was hired for the job. 

“We wanted someone who will love the school,” Sciarrino said. “That was the thing we were looking for the most. Someone who appreciated the unique qualities of Daniel Pearl and the amazing opportunities it can bring (students). He also has wonderful personal skills and works well with students and parents, which is really important.”

After Petrossian officially begins his position at DPMHS in two weeks, he says he plans to continue the personalized learning and instruction students are receiving. He also hopes to keep the tradition of a kind and caring community. Although he has big ideas when it comes to the end of virtual learning, Petrossian wants to meet and understand the community first, before any big decisions are made.

“The ability to listen to what the students have to say, to be open to ideas and just be caring (is what makes a good principal),” Petrossian said. “With a community like Daniel Pearl, you have to be a caring person. You just need to have the ability to truly listen to people. Student voice is a big deal. I just can’t wait to meet all the students and I just can’t wait to get started.”