Dr. Hugo Pedroza has been selected to fill the position of principal at Santa Monica High School and he has accepted.

Pedroza comes to the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) after serving as principal of Manual Arts High School, a 4,200 student school with nine small learning communities on a year-round track in Los Angeles Unified School District.

As a formality, a recommendation by district superintendent Dianne Talarico to appoint Pedroza will be brought before the board of education at its meeting Thursday, August 31st.

Pedroza will take over for Ilene Straus, who was offered and accepted the position of senior director of secondary education for the district.

The district and Pedroza will work collaboratively to negotiate a start date and develop a transition plan for his entry into the position of principal at Santa Monica High School, a district official said.

“Dr. Pedroza will be an outstanding addition to the leadership team at Santa Monica High school,” said Talarico. “I believe he will be instrumental in continuing the work of addressing the global needs of the campus while supporting the success of the redesign.

“He will challenge our students and staff as we courageously strive to raise achievement for the students we serve.”

Pedroza has over 20 years of educational experience and holds a Ph.D., a master’s degree in education and a bachelor’s degree from UCLA.