The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) has announced the appointment of Chiung-Sally Chou as chief academic officer, starting in February.

“Dr. Chou will complement the Ed[ucation] Services Department with her extensive background in secondary education,” said district superintendent Dianne Talarico. “Her experience working in high schools and community colleges will support the district’s efforts in providing access to higher education learning opportunities for all students.

“Her extensive ties to the college board will enhance the district’s advanced placement program.”

Chou served most recently as the Compton Community College District’s associate special trustee, where she worked in the areas of academic affairs, student services, budget development and the development and institution of course offerings and schedules.

Chou provided leadership in recruiting high school students by implementing Compton Community College’s regional Transfer Collaborative and the High School Transfer Academy, which Santa Monica district officials say is very important.

Prior to that, Chou served as deputy superintendent of Instructional Services for the Compton Unified School District, where, among other duties, she served as liaison for the district in collaborative activities with University of California and California State University.

In addition, she developed such programs as peer mediation, speech and debate and student leadership.

Chou has also served as associate superintendent, Student Support Services for the San Francisco Unified School District, principal at Galileo Academy of Sciences & Technology in that district, and assistant principal at Alhambra High School in the Alhambra School District.

Chou received her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California in 2004 with a major in politics, policy, and organization in education and a minor in instructional leadership.

She received her M.A. from Teachers College of Columbia University, where she received a Professional Incentive Award.

Chou will assume her duties at the district on Tuesday, February 20th, pending approval of her position by the school board at its meeting Thursday, February 1st.