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PUSD Names Rose City High School Principal

Irene Quiñones Retires this Month

Published on Thursday, June 30, 2011 | 4:47 am

Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) Superintendent Edwin Diaz announced today the promotion of Eric Sahakian as principal of the Rose City High School. Mr. Sahakian, who has been principal of Loma Alta Elementary since 2009, will manage the alternative high school that recently won accreditation and has more than tripled the number of graduates since 2007. He replaces Irene Quiñones, who retires this month after four years as principal of Rose City.”

“Mr. Sahakian brings strong and collaborative leadership and extensive experience as a high school teacher and counselor to this important position,” said Superintendent Diaz, who retires this month after leading reforms that have significantly raised student achievement and cut the dropout rate in half. “High quality alternative education programs that offer strategies tailored to the needs of students who struggle in traditional school settings are critical to the continued increase in graduation rates. I am confident that Eric will build on this foundation to ensure that students succeed in high school and graduate prepared for college and careers.”

Mr. Sahakian joined PUSD as principal of Loma Alta Elementary School in 2009.  Previously, he was program coordinator in the L.A. County Office of Education since 2007. He served as assistant principal of Toll Middle School in the Glendale Unified School District (GUSD) from 2002-07, head counselor of  Hoover High School in GUSD from 1997-2002, and as a counselor in the L.A. County Office of Education from 1995-97.   He taught high school for four years. Mr. Sahakian has a Bachelor’s degree from California State University, Northridge (CSUN), a Master’s degree in psychology with a pupil personnel credential, and an administrative credential from CSULA. He is currently a doctoral candidate at CSULA.

“I look forward to building upon the momentum set forth by my predecessor, as well as to fully utilizing my secondary administrative and counseling background,” said Mr. Sahakian. “I am excited to be an advocate for our district’s mission to decrease dropout rates and to provide students a myriad of opportunities to realize their potential.”

In 2007, Rose City High School graduated 14 students. In acknowledgment of the restructuring that improved the quality and rigor of its academics, in 2009 Rose City earned accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) for the first time in the school’s history.  WASC is one of six regional accrediting associations in the United States; accreditation ensures that students have mastered a rigorous body of knowledge. Graduation from an accredited high school is required by most colleges and universities and financial aid institutions.

At its graduation ceremony earlier this month, Rose City High School had 54 graduates. More than 30 other students are expected to complete requirements in time for graduation this summer.

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