Dr. Bruce Mims has been chosen as the new principal at Westchester High School, following an extensive search.

The Westchester High School hiring panel, comprised of parents, teachers, students, classified staff, community members, along with and Stephen Rochelle, the director of learning and leadership, participated in Mims’ selection.

“Dr. Mims brings the character, zeal and compassion needed to help the Westchester High School Comets reach their full potential,” said ninth grade academy teacher and hiring panel member Mary Ann Rose.

“I felt exhilarated by the process, as it brought together divergent viewpoints, allowed for discussion and ultimately seemed to bring out the best in everybody,” added Carolynne Kleier, a counselor at the high school. “The proof is in the pudding, as the saying goes, and I think that Dr. Mims will bring a well articulated vision and dedication to academic rigor which is sorely needed at our school. I believe, too, that he will lead by example and I fully expect him to be clear and transparent in his role as principal.”

The candidates were narrowed down through an intensive and novel three-day process developed by teachers and parents on the school’s Transition Team hiring committee, with support and assistance from the LMU Family of Schools staff and faculty and the Los Angeles Unified School District iDesign Schools office.

In addition to answering questions, principal candidates also responded to real-world scenarios developed by the panel, and completed a mock classroom observation.

Mims received his doctoral degree from University of Southern California Rossier School of Education. He holds a master’s degree from University of San Diego, and he obtained a bachelor’s degree in political science from University of California-Berkeley.

Mims was an assistant principal at high schools in the Hacienda-La Puente School District, Rialto School District, and most recently, Long Beach Unified School District. He was also a teacher for nine years in the Juvenile Court and Community Schools program in San Diego Unified School District.

Mims is currently an adjunct professor for Argosy University, and worked for several years as an adjunct professor at National University.

Mason Shayan, president of Westchester Rotary and longtime Westchester resident, was also particularly taken with Mims’ passion for the high school.

“[Mims] said he thinks Westchester High School is a diamond in the rough,” said Shayan, a member of the hiring panel. “He wants to build a lighthouse to attract young people to. I think he has the ability to increase the scores, to motivate teachers and students, and to get the community involved.”

Mims’ official start date will be announced once he has completed processing through Los Angeles Unified School District.