MALIBU—The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District appointed its new elementary principal Chris Hertz, during their last board meeting on May 2. Starting July 1, Hertz will be the principal for the newly combined schools for Juan Cabrillo Elementary School and Point Dume Marine Science School.

Christopher E. Hertz has more the 25 years of experience in education. He has been an elementary school teacher, principal and vice principal, and has served in several director positions since 2012. Prior to this new position he served as the Director of Student Services and Special Projects for the Beverly Hills Unified School District. He also served as the Director of Academic Excellence and Technology and the Director of School Safety at Beverly Unified School District.

Throughout his career, Hertz has been the recipient of many honors and awards. He received the Administrator Award from the Beverly Hills Unified School District in 2018. As a principal, he led a school to earn the California Distinguished School Award. Early in his career, he won the Teacher of the Year Award and a PTA Involvement Award. He has received more than $240,000 in grants for school programs.

“Mr. Hertz will be a great addition to our Malibu team. We welcome him to SMMUSD,” said SMMUSD Superintendent Dr. Ben Drati.

“I look forward to the coming school year and to working collaboratively with the students, teachers, families, community, and district colleagues, to bring the best practices and traditions of Juan Cabrillo and Point Dume Schools together,” said Hertz. “Collectively we will build a welcoming, safe, and inclusive new school and ensure that our students receive the best educational experience. I am very excited to be selected as the first principal of the combined school.”

Hertz will be replacing Dr. Pamela Herkner who served as principal for six years at Juan Cabrillo Elementary School. The new combined elementary schools will be renamed, but a new name has not been given. Hertz earned his Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has a Master’s Degree in educational administration from National University.