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Our Times: Orange County Communities | COVERING NORTH
COAST, CENTRAL, AND NORTHWEST CITIES : LOS ALAMITOS

Veteran Tustin Principal Takes LAHS Job

May 17, 2000|CHRIS CEBALLOS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The Los Alamitos Unified School District Board of Education has selected Daniel Brooks to serve as the new principal of Los Alamitos High School, effective July 1.

Brooks comes to Los Alamitos from the Tustin Unified School District, where he has been principal of Foothill High School since 1995.

"I'm already the longest-serving principal in Foothill's history, and it was time for me to move on to something different," Brooks said. "I was either looking at going to another high school or into district administration. But I love the kids."

Brooks had previously served as principal at A.G. Currie Middle School, from 1991 to 1995, and at W.R. Nelson Elementary School, from 1986 to 1991. In addition to being a principal, his 16-year tenure at the Tustin district has included teaching at elementary and middle school levels.

"It will be extremely difficult to leave behind the phenomenal friendships that I have established at Foothill," Brooks said. "I have been blessed to work for 5 1/2 years at a truly distinguished school--one with a positive, creative and professional group of staff and faculty."

Like Los Alamitos High School, Foothill--which has about 2,000 students--has been named a California Distinguished School and a National Blue Ribbon School. It also has been awarded a Digital High School Grant to infuse technology into the curriculum.

"We are very pleased to appoint Dan Brooks as principal of Los Alamitos High School," district Supt. Carol A. Hart said. "He brings a wealth of high school experience to Los Alamitos and will be a tremendous asset to the students, staff, parents and community."

Brooks said he hasn't had a chance to become familiar with his new school and its nuances. But he will be spending Monday afternoons and evenings at the school for the next five weeks, Brooks said. He will be meeting with parents, students and especially teachers to learn where he needs to focus his attentions--such as dealing with the loss of the Orange County High School of the Arts.

"That seems to be the biggest challenge," Brooks said, "to build a performing arts program with the absence of [the school]. And the existing staff has already begun working on that project."

Brooks said he's looking forward to the task ahead. "This new position presents an incredible opportunity for me to broaden my horizons in a new district, take on the challenge of a larger high school and bring my experience and vision to a new setting," Brooks said.

Chris Ceballos can be reached at (714) 966-7440.

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