After four years under the stewardship of alumna Deb Rinder, Glendale High School has a new principal.
Monica Makiewicz, who had previously served as an assistant and associate principal at the school, takes over the top job this month, according to Glendale Unified officials.
“Not only is she valued and respected by the Glendale High School staff, but she has established herself as a leader in the district who can continue to guide Glendale High School into the 21st Century,” Supt. Dick Sheehan said in a statement.
Makiewicz acknowledged that she will have big shoes to fill in replacing Rinder, who had served in the position since 2008 and has a long history with the district.
“She was a great example of how we work together as a staff to create a vision, and then providing resources … whatever we needed to move us to the next step to create that quality school environment,” Makiewicz said.
Among her priorities will be to reinforce Glendale High’s identity as a strong comprehensive high school while also enhancing some of its specialty programs, including the visual and performing arts and cosmetology, she said. There will also be a focus on the school’s English language learners — English is a second language for more than 50% of the student body — and improving math scores, Makiewicz said.
“I think our goal is to let the community know what a great place Glendale High is and how we would love to have their kids here,” she said.
Makiewicz taught in Monrovia and Vista before coming to Glendale High School in 2005. She has an undergraduate degree from Santa Clara University, a law degree from Southwestern University and a doctorate from UC Riverside.
Rinder recently stepped into the newly created of position of executive director of education services for Glendale Unified. She will be responsible for planning and managing special education and intervention programs.
“We are creating more intervention programs to try and meet the needs of our students, so we wanted somebody with site experience and who has implemented different initiatives to be able to come to the district office,” said Maria Gandera, assistant superintendent for human resources.
The change in leadership is one of several taking place in the lull between school years. Gandera herself recently replaced former Assistant Supt. David Samuelson, who retired.
Gandera said additional administrative changes would be announced later this month.