Monday, July 23 , 2018, 8:52 am | Fair 74º


Board Appoints New Principals for San Marcos, Santa Barbara High Schools

Ed Behrens and John Becchio will move into their new roles effective July 1

President Annette Cordero announced at Tuesday night’s Santa Barbara school board meeting that the board voted 5-0 in closed session to appoint San Marcos High School Assistant Principal Ed Behrens as the new principal, and Santa Barbara Junior High School Principal John Becchio as the new principal of Santa Barbara High School. Both appointments will take effect July 1.

John Becchio
John Becchio

“I am extremely honored to be selected as the next principal of San Marcos High School,” said Behrens, who will replace Norm Clevenger after his retirement at the end of the school year. “The school has a rich tradition of academic success, great athletic programs and outstanding co-curricular activities. I look forward to working with staff collaboratively to continue to improve academic success for all students, including special-education students, English learner students, students in the middle and honor students. We are very excited about our new AAPLE (Accelerated Academic Program for Leadership and Enrichment), and will be looking to bolster other existing programs and create new ones to address the needs of all students.”

In 1991, Behrens joined the Santa Barbara School District as a teacher, initially as an English language development teacher at Santa Barbara High School. For the past 14 years, he has worked as an assistant principal at San Marcos.

In that role, his responsibilities have included oversight or coordination of the Student Success Team, grading and attendance procedures, discipline and attendance, and campus supervision and school facilities. He has served as the summer school principal, co-created the Health Academy, chaired various committees and chaired the school’s 2009-10 WASC visit.

Behrens earned a master’s degree in educational leadership and policy studies at California State University-Northridge, and his teaching credential and a bachelor’s degree at San Diego State University.

Becchio will replace Dr. Mark Capritto, who will be leaving at the end of the school year.

“It is with mixed emotions that I will be taking on the Santa Barbara High School principal position,” Becchio said. “While I am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead of me at Santa Barbara High, I am leaving the place that has become home and family to me since 1996.

“Five years ago, I took over as principal of Santa Barbara Junior High, I led the school through a comprehensive school reform effort. My main goal in this endeavor was to create change from within. Essentially, I tapped into the unbelievable talent and expertise of the teachers, staff, students and parents at Santa Barbara Junior High to come up with the answers to the challenges we faced. The team answered the call and created what I consider to be lasting change, rather than change dependent upon one leader. It is for this reason that I am confident that Santa Barbara Junior High, under new leadership, will continue to do what is best for students and remain a high performing school. I now look forward to moving on to Santa Barbara High School to work collaboratively with the staff, students and parents to find the places of most potential and bring them to life.”

Ed Behrens
Ed Behrens

From 1996-98, Becchio worked at Santa Barbara Junior High as a Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse youth service specialist. He was responsible for alcohol and drug prevention education, parent/child drug education, truancy prevention and home visits.

He became a teacher for the Santa Barbara School District in 1999 and taught a variety of subjects, including health, technology exploration, wood shop, physical education, math and environmental studies. In 2004, he fulfilled the responsibilities of an assistant principal at Goleta Valley and La Colina junior high schools.

From 2004-06, Becchio was assigned to Santa Barbara Junior High, where his duties included master schedule, facilities, student discipline, teacher observations/evaluations, and summer school coordinator. In 2006, he became the school’s principal. He took over as principal in Year 3 Program improvement and was tasked with full implementation of a comprehensive restructuring plan that included schoolwide instruction model, biweekly common benchmark assessments, professional learning community teams, and strategic and intensive intervention programs.

Becchio earned a master’s degree in education from California State Northridge, his single subject credential from Chapman University, a minor in Spanish at the University of Granada and a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University.

These changes leave openings at San Marcos High and Santa Barbara Junior High. The school district will begin to consider possibilities for these positions. However, the district does not anticipate that the openings will be filled immediately as other positions may need to be considered as well.

— Barbara Keyani is the administrative services and communications coordinator for the Santa Barbara School District.

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