Contact: Jeanne Wells

310-450-8338, Ext. 239


March 13, 2001



The Board of Education is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Mark Kelly and Ms. Kirsten Hibert as the new Co-Principals of Santa Monica High School.

Dr. Kelly and Ms. Hibert served as assistant principals at SAMOHI under the direction of Dr. Sylvia Rousseau and have been Interim Co-Principals at the high school since September 2000.

"The Board is extremely pleased to have two qualified and visionary leaders guiding SAMOHI into the next century. We are confident that Mark and Kirsten bring the strengths needed to help each student become a successful learner," stated Board President, Tom Pratt. Vice President Julia Brownley joined in the congratulations stating, "The Board is absolutely delighted to announce to the community that Ms. Kirsten Hibert and Dr. Mark Kelly will be the new permanent principals at Santa Monica High School. We believe that their collective commitment, dedication and collaboration to ensure student success will pave the way to make Santa Monica High School an even greater teaching and learning institution. It is our intent that the entire community will join the Board in their continued support of Mark and Kirsten, as individuals and as leaders, in this important and critical role of co-principalship at Santa Monica High School."

Mark Kelly hails from Minneapolis, earned Masters of Education and Doctor of Education degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles. He taught mathematics in the Los Angeles Unified School District, became the Math Department chairperson, and was a lead teacher for school reform. Dr. Kelly is very excited about becoming one of the co-principals at Santa Monica High School. "I thoroughly enjoy the work that I am doing at SAMOHI and look forward to carrying on the long traditions that make SAMOHI a great school, shares Dr. Kelly. "I look forward to working with Kirsten Hibert as co-principals because we share the same belief that SAMOHI is a wonderful place to be a student. We look forward to collaborating with students, parents, teachers, staff, district staff and community members to make SAMOHI a school where each student can achieve success."

Kirsten Hibert comes from Massachusetts and received her Master of Education at Whittier College, Whittier, California. She taught integrated English/Social Studies in the Whittier High School District and was House Leader for school-within-school overseeing 350 students and 17 staff members. Ms. Hibert is thrilled about the opportunity to become one of the co-principals at Santa Monica High School. "Mark Kelly and I share a vision for SAMOHI that includes strengthening communication with students, parents, and the community. One of our

responsibilities is to significantly improve student transition from middle to high school. We want to continue working towards having greater academic success for all students including those who historically have not been successful at SAMOHI," Ms. Hibert states.

Mark Kelly and Kirsten Hibert share a vision for Santa Monica High School that it continues to evolve as:

The new co-principals are enthusiastic about the work ahead. Dr. Kelly and Ms. Hibert are excited about the conversations taking place at Samohi amongst students, parents, teachers, staff, and district personnel. They envision Samohi as a welcoming, personal, friendly, and respectful institution that is the center of the community.

Cynthia Cottam, SAMOHI PTSA co-president joins in welcoming the appointment of Dr. Kelly and Ms. Hibert. "Kirsten Hibert and Mark Kelly have a wonderful vision for our school which includes a commitment to successful learning and a more personal environment for every student. They have demonstrated the passion, the energy, the creativity and an openness to new ideas which will serve them well as they work to realize the exciting potential of Santa Monica High School."

Both Mark and Kirsten have expressed that the commitment to Samohi's long history within the community is to be celebrated. Strong support and confidence has been expressed by the school board, students, parents, faculty and staff. They feel a commitment exists to challenge beliefs and practices for the betterment of students.

Teri Viramontes, Bilingual Community Liaison at Santa Monica High School, congratulates SAMOHI and the SAMOHI community at large on the appointment of Ms. Hibert and Dr. Kelly as the new co-principals. "This is the dawn of exciting and innovative times - we have the leadership needed to continue our commitment towards equality and excellence in education for ALL. There is renewed hope for EACH and EVERY student!"

The new co-principals welcome the change to bring a new leadership paradigm to the school. They believe they can work collaboratively as an effective team to make Samohi a great school for students.

Sean McDaniel, current SAMOHI teacher and former District Teacher of the Year conveyed his delight at the announcement. "I am pleased to hear about their dual-appointment and am enthusiastic about their futures at SAMOHI. Dr. Kelly and Kirsten Hibert have very quickly formed an effective partnership which will make it possible for them to communicate effectively with SAMOHI staff, teachers, students and community. It is clear that they appreciate and enjoy working with each other. They seem, on a day-to-day basis, to actually enjoy what they are doing. Their ability to forge a comprehensive and cohesive vision of what kind of facility SAMOHI ought to become will no doubt go a long way toward gaining the kind of community and staff support that is needed to push ahead with improvements in the ways all of our students view and benefit from their high school experiences."

Our District is fortunate to have such respected and committed individuals to lead Santa Monica High School into the future.

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District

1651 16th St., Santa Monica, CA 90404 310-450-8338 fax 310-581-1138