Meet New PUSD District and School Leaders

The Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) introduces district and school leaders who have joined its team. Please join PUSD in welcoming them!

Marco Villegas, Ph.D., Associate Superintendent of Specialized Student Support/SELPA. Dr. Villegas is responsible for administering all programs and services for children with disabilities, leading cross-departmental strategic planning, improving standardized procedures and training for staff, strengthening collaborative partnerships with parents, and improving the organizational efficacy of the Special Education department. Read more

Ana Maria “Ria” Apodaca, Director of Health Programs Ms. Apodaca leads the planning, development, implementation, evaluation, and maintenance of all district student health programs, including the delivery of health services, health education, staff development, and assistance pursuing competitive grants. Read more

LLeonard Hernandez, Jr., Director of Maintenance, Operations, Transportation, and Facilities. Mr. Hernandez leads the management of district-wide facilities planning, maintenance and repair functions, custodial services, transportation services, fleet management, utility management, and District safety, recycling, indoor air quality, and security programs. Read more

Dr. Merian Stewart, Interim Principal of McKinley School. Dr. Merian Stewart will serve as interim principal of McKinley School for the 2020-21 academic year. Dr. Stewart brings 29 years of steady experience as an elementary and middle school principal. She has served as principal of Franklin Elementary since 2016, where she ushered in a computer immersion program, and Washington STEAM Middle School from 2008-2016, where she led the school’s transition to a STEAM magnet school. Read more

Dr. Merle Bugarin, Interim Principal, Don Benito Fundamental Elementary School. Dr. Merle Bugarin will serve as interim principal for the 2020-21 academic year. She successfully served as principal of Roosevelt Elementary for the last five years. Prior to becoming a principal, she was a Teacher on Special Assignment coordinating the K-12 English Learner program for the Pasadena Unified School District for two years, a curriculum coach for twelve years and a classroom teacher for five years. Read more

Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD), 351 S. Hudson Ave., Pasadena, (626) 396-3600 or visit




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