The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District school board has announced the appointment of Jessica Rishe as the new principal of the Santa Monica Alternative School House (SMASH).

Rishe attended American University in Washington, D.C., including a year at La Sorbonne in Paris. She holds a master’s degree in elementary education from UCLA and a master’s in educational administration from California State University, Northridge.

Rishe is in her 12th year with the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. She taught kindergarten through second grade at John Muir Elementary and at SMASH.

Beginning in 2000, Rishe has been involved with the BTSA (Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment) program, currently serving as coordinator of teacher support and BTSA in the Educational Services Department.

Additionally, since 2006, she has been part-time assistant principal at McKinley Elementary School.

All of Rishe’s work in the district has prepared her for this new assignment, district officials say.

“Jessica has an excellent background in curriculum, professional development and teacher training, and she wholeheartedly en- dorses the vision of SMASH,” says district superintendent Dianne Talarico.

The Board of Education approved the appointment Thursday, May 15th.

Rishe will continue in her current capacity, but will collaborate with current principal Carrie Ferguson to provide for a smooth transition. She will begin the principalship on July 1st.