Administration has two new members

September 9, 2019 — by Andy Chen and Allison Hartley

Last year, the district determined that the school had more administrators per student than Los Gatos High School, the other school in the district. This imbalance led to the transfer of former assistant principal Brian Thompson to Los Gatos. 

In his place, history teacher and activities director Matt Torrens was hired in a 40 percent administrative role while still doing his teaching duties 60 percent of the time with the Leadership class and student activities.

The challenge is that the administration will be doing the same amount of work — just with fewer people. 

 

“With that reduction in staffing, the folks in that space have really had to work really hard to fill in that gap in terms of staffing percentage,” said assistant principal Brian Safine, who estimates that he receives an average of 150 emails a day. “We’re all very fortunate that everyone is very hard working, and that has really helped us to move on.”

Also, new to the administrative team this year is principal Greg Louie, who came to the school after having been in the same role at Santa Teresa High School for seven years. 

In his new administrative role, Torrens is also now responsible for facilities, scheduling, Link Crew and field trips. Prior to joining the administration, he had experience organizing facilities and scheduling as the Leadership teacher, allowing for a smooth transition into his new role. He now works alongside counselor Alinna Satake on scheduling for students with last names T-Z.  

Although Torrens said he will miss teaching U.S. History this year, he is pleased with his new administrative role.

For his part, Louie is now responsible for supervision, leadership and attendance, in addition to picking up some of Thompson’s past responsibilities. He also serves as an administrator for students with last names A-G, along with counselor Monique Young. Assistant principal Kerry Mohnike, the fourth and final administrator, will be performing duties similar to Louie, although she will be focusing more on her departments of supervision: math, English and special education.

Louie said the administrative team has a student-centered philosophy that will keep their goals aligned this year.

“The four of us are reflective in terms of being able to recognize what’s really working well and what we think needs to be tweaked and adjusted,” Louie said. “The four of us collaborate very well: We share opinions, we share ideas, and there isn’t anybody who’s stubborn or difficult to work with.” 

Despite the loss of Paul Robinson to retirement and Thompson to Los Gatos, Safine expects that students will continue to see positive impacts of the administration on campus. 

“The group dynamic has always been strong,” Safine said. “We have slightly different personalities in the room, but everyone is interested in the well-being of students, and when you’ve got a team that’s focused on students, you’ve got a great place to start.”

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