Tristan Komlos is now on board as the new principal of Lincoln Middle School in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District and she’s excited.

To take on the role, Komlos left her position as principal of the Santa Monica High School “M House,” of which she was principal for two years.

“When I student-taught many moons ago, I wanted to do middle school,” Komlos said.

“Coming back to middle school and having the opportunity was one that I wanted to jump up on because I love middle school kids,” she said.

She is taking over for Kathy Scott, who resigned as principal of Lincoln Middle School.

“I am extremely thrilled to take on this new position,” Komlos said. “I know that I’ve been well prepared.”

Her effective start date was Tuesday, August 1st, but students won’t arrive back to school until Wednesday, September 6th.

“When the kids come back, that’s when the energy comes back to campus,” Komlos said.

While the students are out for the rest of summer break, Komlos is plenty busy.

“We’re working on doing a lot of planning for the new year,” she said. “We’ve got a really amazing staff. We’re working together to look at the direction we’re going to take this year.”

Komlos has 12 years of education experience. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas and her Master of Education from the University of Houston. She also has a principal certification.

In addition to being one of the six house principals at Santa Monica High School, Komlos has been principal at Memorial Senior High in Houston, as well as an adjunct English professor at San Jacinto College in Houston.

Komlos knows there will be different challenges as principal of a middle school, but she is looking forward to the change, acknowledging that “it will take a while to get to know the nuts and bolts.”

“I know that working in a smaller setting is going to be different, more intimate,” Komlos said. “High school has all the drama that middle school does, but times six. I know that I like the level of students [sixth through eighth grade]. They make me laugh.”

Moreover, she is impressed by Lincoln Middle School’s reputation.

“The culture of Lincoln has such a fantastic reputation, a professional reputation of colleagues working together to improve instruction and student learning,” Komlos said.

“Tristan has proven that she is able to plan, develop and implement instructional objectives and district initiatives,” said Tim Walker, Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District assistant superintendent for educational services.

“I haven’t heard much about Tristan, other than she’s well liked, well respected, and that the central administration and the teachers at Lincoln are looking forward to her being the principal,” said Shane McLoud, a board of education member. “That’s good enough for me.”

Komlos accomplished a lot at Santa Monica High School. As a member of the Samohi Committee for Redesign Efficacy (SCORE) and as M House principal, Komlos was instrumental in the documented success of the redesign of Samohi, Walker said.

Additionally, Komlos has restructured the Freshman Seminar curriculum, coordinated and managed the administration of California Standardized Testing and Reporting and participated in a UCLA Principal’s Center training, Walker said.

And now she’s looking forward to “watching the growth that can happen” at Lincoln.

“What I’m feeling going into Lincoln? There’s excitement, anticipation, but overall, just a feeling that this is going to be a really good match,” Komlos said.

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