Tuesday, May 22 , 2018, 2:36 pm | Overcast 66º


Santa Barbara High Principal John Becchio Leaving for District HR Job

John Becchio Click to view larger
John Becchio

Santa Barbara High School Principal John Becchio has been appointed to a human resources position with the Santa Barbara Unified School District, and will leave the school July 1.

Becchio, who has worked for the district for 22 years, was appointed SBHS principal seven years ago, and previously worked as principal of Santa Barbara Junior High School, an assistant principal and a teacher.

“Turning the page and leaving this principalship will be a tough transition because it is a job and a place that I truly love,” he said in an email.

“And there is nothing like the energy of the student population. But, I have such a deep interest in human resources work that I could not pass up the opportunity to expand my professional experience into that realm.”

He said he has personnel experience from working as principal, and feels well-equipped to move to the human resources position at the district office. 

“As for Santa Barbara High, well I absolutely love this place and love the people I have met along the way. I look back and see all that we have accomplished as a school community over the past seven years, and really am proud of our work, not the least of which is our constant push for an accepting, welcoming, and professional school climate. 

“The school itself is an historic institution, but what I realize through my time at Santa Barbara High is that it is the people throughout the years who have made it such a rich part of Santa Barbara history. I feel so fortunate to be a part of that,” he said.

Becchio replaces retired assistant superintendent of human resources Mitch Torina, and was chosen after a competitive recruitment and interview process, district spokeswoman Lauren Bianchi Klemann said. 

The position was advertised to start at a salary of $151,903. 

The Santa Barbara Unified School District will conduct a full recruitment process to replace Becchio and demoted San Marcos High Principal Ed Behrens, she said.

Becchio and Behrens were both appointed to their posts in March 2011, and will both leave their principal positions at the end of the current school year.

The board of education voted in closed session Tuesday night to demote Behrens from principal, for undisclosed reasons.

The timing suggests, and his supporters speculate, that the move is related to the school and district's handling of a social media threats investigation in January.

“Please don’t throw away what I have achieved,” Behrens said at the packed meeting, before the board voted to remove him. 

Santa Barbara Unified is currently advertising for several other administrative positions, including directors of facilities, elementary education, secondary education and after-school programs. 

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >