Venice High School’s New Principal

Alicia Valenciana, News Editor

After careful consideration, Mr. Gabriel Griego was selected to be the next principal of Venice High.

Mr. Griego is currently the principal of Bassett High School (BHS) located in La Puente, California. He has worked at BHS for three years and 11 months.

Prior to becoming a principal, Mr. Griego obtained his Master’s Degree (MA) in Education Administration from California State University of Los Angeles. During 2016, Mr. Griego became a member of the Industry Hills Rotary Club.

The last principal, Dr. Oryla Weidoeft, left Venice High School due to medical reasons. During the past year, Venice has been led by three different principals.  

“It’s been interesting having four or five principals. That’s been an interesting challenge,” said Ms. Courtney Lockwood. “But the school is a strong enough school that we’ve weathered that. Hopefully, the next principal will take the school to the next level.”

Venice High School held a Town Hall meeting on Monday, April 30 from 6-8 pm in the West Gym in order to select its new principal out of three candidates.

Approximately 100 parents, students and faculty arrived at the gymnasium to hear speeches from  Gabriel Griego, Marguerette Gladden and Eileen Hiss, candidates that were competing for the position to be Venice High’s new principal.

After each candidate presented their speech,  they were asked a series of questions that were submitted by members of the audience. To be consistent and fair to each candidate, the questions remained the same for each candidate.

Next, the three candidates were discussed afterwards by School Based Management (SBM), a school committee comprised of faculty, students and parents. SBM members then ranked the candidates in the order that they would recommend them to the Superintendent of Local District West Cheryl Hildreth. The SBM Committee ranked Ms. Hiss as their first choice, Mr. Griego as their second choice, and Ms. Gladden as their third choice.

Ms. Wendy Sarnoff and Mr. Soni Lloyd also tallied up votes from those who ranked the candidates on their notes at the Town Hall meeting. Comments written by those who attended the Town Hall meeting were also taken into consideration.

“I hope the principal is able to fit in with the community that Venice has built because it seems like teachers are pretty close and tight and administration as well,” said senior Mireya Curiel, who was also part of the SBM committee.

Finally, the local district superintendent interviewed each candidate and selected Mr. Griego.

Before the final decision for the new principal was made, interim principal Marcia Haskin said, “I am really hoping that a great school like Venice, the teachers and the students, land a good principal, a good leader who is a fit, a match for the school. To me, that’s the most important ingredient. This school is a gift to work at.”

Venice High School’s new principal Mr. Griego will join them for an end-of-the-year barbecue on June 8 at 12:30 pm.

“I hope the faculty and student embrace the new person and make them feel as welcomed as they’ve made me feel. Venice has been so inviting,” said Ms. Haskin.