School Board Appoints San Marino High School Principal

Published : Wednesday, May 24, 2017 | 12:20 PM

Dr. Issaic Gates

On May 23, 2017, the Board of Education unanimously voted to approve the recommendation of Superintendent Cherniss to appoint Dr. Issaic Gates as the new San Marino High School Principal.

Dr. Gates joins the District after serving for five years as the Los Alamitos High School Assistant Principal. During his tenure in Los Alamitos, Dr. Gates was responsible for the oversight of Athletics, Visual and Performing Arts, Attendance, ASB, Campus Culture and Facilities. He also served as the evaluator of Science, Special Education World Languages. Los Alamitos Unified School District is the #1 academic school district in all of Orange County and the #10 academic school district in California.

In 1996, Dr. Gates graduated from Mosley High School in Panama City, Florida. Staying in state, he attended the University of Central Florida. While at UCF, he played Division 1 football and earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Early Childhood Education. In 1999, Dr. Gates began his professional educator career as a third-grade teacher at Ventura Elementary School in Orlando, Florida.

Following his passion for learning and adventure, in 2001, Dr. Gates moved to Southern California and accepted a teaching position at Altadena Elementary School within the Pasadena Unified School District. Working in PUSD, from 2001 to 2012, he taught primary, elementary, and the middle school grade levels. During his tenure with PUSD, he was nominated for Rotary’s Teacher of the Year, served as a union representative for the United Teachers of Pasadena, taught PUSD’s first robotics classes, and successfully guided teachers toward effective classroom instructional practices through the PARS program.

In 2010, after graduating from California State University Los Angeles, with a Master of Arts in Education Administration, Dr. Gates enrolled at the University of Southern California and earned his Doctorate in Education [K-12 Leadership in Urban School Settings] in 2013. Dr. Gates currently serves as an adjunct professor at USC’s Rossier School of Education.

Superintendent Dr. Cherniss stated, “We are truly fortunate to have such a charismatic and passionate school leader like Dr. Gates join our San Marino family. His success comes from a high performing school district will translate well to his work in San Marino. The principal search was extremely competitive, and Dr. Gates clearly rose to the top. I am excited to begin this new chapter of school leadership at San Marino High School with Dr. Gates at the helm. I know our students, staff, parents and community members will all benefit”.

On a personal note, Dr. Gates is married to a professional educator, Dr. Rasheedah Gates, who works at Duarte Unified and they have three children; David, 15, attending high school in Arcadia; Grace, 6, attending elementary school in Duarte and Emerson, 2.

When asked about his new position Dr. Gates said, “I am humbled and honored to serve as the next principal of San Marino High School. My life is centered around family, faith, authentic relationships, and the strong belief that all students deserve an education that prepares them to attend the world’s top colleges and universities and to be extraordinary leaders both locally and globally”.

Over the span of his career, Dr. Gates has implemented and coordinated several educational programs, inspired a love of 21st Century learning and helped to improve operations with innovation and technology. He is known to teachers, students, and parents as a well-respected and highly successful administrator.

Board President C. Joseph Chang commented, “After completing an informative site visit at Los Alamitos High School, I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Issaic Gates as the new San Marino High School principal. Bringing an academic educational background with an Ed.D. from the University of Southern California, he has a successful leadership background and the ability to motivate. I’m sure he will continue to create a caring and positive learning environment for our students.” Dr. Gates will begin his new position on July 1, 2017.

San Marino Unified School District (SMUSD), 1665 West Drive, San Marino, (626) 299-7000 or visit



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