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.

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