Appalled at Lack of Outside Input in Principal’s Selection



I saw the announcement in the local newspapers that a committee was being formed to help and advise in the selection of a new principal at Laguna Beach High School. I thought that this was where I could help but upon calling the district office was informed that the citizens would all be parents or ex-parents of high school students.

This holds many questions in my mind: are we who pay taxes for the schools not qualified to make sound judgments, why would the powers that be not value and respect citizens’ opinions, why are the high school’s judgments for curriculum and the multitude of other wonderful aspects of leadership not understood to be everyone’s concerns in this wonderful school district? I’ve thought about it and thought about it and I come up short for an answer.

I knew, loved, and admired Dr. Joann Culverhouse for years as a school administrator and respected every decision she ever made. Her athletic teams won, her music and drama performing groups were the most outstanding, her test scores were incredible etc. etc. But her most outstanding quality was her uncanny judgment on student behavior, what would work and not work. I’ve worked with many, many school principals in my career as a teacher, and worked countless volunteer hours trying to build better schools. Never had anyone told me my or any citizen’s opinions were not wanted or valued.

Our schools need this citizen involvement and input in the multitude of decisions being made every year on how our schools are run. As citizens in Laguna Beach we are perplexed by regulations originating from others beyond our control. But a citizen committee for the selection of a new high school principal seems made to order for involved and interested citizens in our already superb district. I can vouch for the quality of instruction in the past at LBHS; my granddaughter went all through Laguna schools and was initiated into Phi Beta Kappa at the end of her senior year in college. That is an honor to her as well as to her former teachers and administrators at LBHS.

I wish I could have helped.


Carol Reynolds, Laguna Beach


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  1. sad, isn’t it carol? those that seem to honestly have the children’s best interest at heart get shut out with ease. upon receiving the usual last minute hurry up and approve “communication” from the district today, it appears they seem quite confident as the principal to-be gave notice on oct 2nd to his previous school. you can bet the superintendent is on a mission to get a principal SHE, i mean the “committee” approved,
    before the school board elections. we need to elect all the new board members as the previous army failed under the dictatorship of smith. there are serious issues at the district and the hiring of a principal begins to shed light on the frustration that many of us have dealt with for way too long…


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