ANAHEIM : Magnolia School District Chief Named

A longtime Huntington Beach school administrator was chosen this week to be Magnolia School District’s next superintendent.

Paul Mercier, assistant superintendent for educational services at Ocean View School District, was unanimously selected by Magnolia’s Board of Trustees on Tuesday night. He replaces Arch J. Haskins, who is retiring June 30 after 14 years leading the district.

Mercier, who will take over July 10, signed a three-year contract with the district that will pay him $83,500 annually. He will also receive a $450-a-month car allowance. This will be the first time Mercier, 47, has led a school district.

“I think the board here has started looking in the direction of the future, and it will be an exciting challenge to help our kids be successful in the 21st Century,” Mercier said.


“We need to give our children good communications skills, both oral and written, because research is going to be so much a part of their lives. And we need to teach them to be flexible and how to use the technology that will be available,” he added.

Board members said Mercier was selected over the other 46 applicants because he has a solid reputation as a school administrator and as a leader.

“He has worked so well with other people and has been able to bring together people who may have been apart before,” Trustee Esther H. Wallace said.

Mercier, who began his career as a teacher 24 years ago, has held his current job for eight years. He has also been a principal, an assistant principal and for three years ran the Orange County Department of Education’s Center for Educational Administrator Development.

Mercier is coming to a district that is about to cut $630,000 from its $21-million budget because of declining state funding. There are 5,200 students attending the district’s eight schools, two of which were placed on a year-round calendar last year because of overcrowding.