SANTA MONICA—Dr. Antonia M. Shelton has been approved by the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education as the new principal for Santa Monica High School during the August 10 meeting, according to a press release from the SMMUSD. Shelton will be coming from Cincinnati, Ohio where he has been serving as the principal at the Indian Hill High School since 2011.

Gail Pinsker, SMMUSD indicated to Canyon News in an email that, “the district believes that Dr. Shelton brings all the characteristics, skills and abilities to Samohi that the Board of Education, district leadership, parents and staff were seeking. Everyone is very excited about him joining our team!”

The Indian Hill High School has been ranked in the top 100 schools in the U.S. by Newsweek and has earned a gold star ranking by the U.S. News and World Report. Shelton began his career in education in 1998 as a teacher for honors U.S. and World History, government, and African-American history. He then served as the assistant principal at Sycamore High School in Cincinnati from 2004 to 2009. From 2009-2011, Shelton served as the assistant principal for curriculum and instruction at William Mason High School in Mason, Ohio.

“I am excited about this new and amazing opportunity to lead Samohi,” Shelton said. “It is my hope to entrench myself into the school community and get to know the many students, faculty and parents. I am looking forward to continuing the academic success and collaborative spirit that Samohi has experienced.”

As principal at Indian Hill High School, he conducted weekly learning walks, attended school activities throughout the year, implemented student learning objectives, cultivated the school’s community, facilitated professional learning communities and managed the school’s budget. Shelton was also involved with technology adoptions, the parent teacher organization, Project Lead the Way, mission and value coordination, Advanced Placement opportunities and served on the community college STEM committee.

He created student programs that emphasized the importance of diversity within the school’s culture, and worked with teachers to make sure every student felt valued and appreciated. Shelton has become known as a dynamic educational leader who has demonstrated caring and compassion for others, and has created a collaborative learning environment that has helped students and staff members reach their full potential.

“Dr. Shelton will be a valuable addition to our district leadership team,” Interim Deputy Superintendent Dr. Mark Kelly said. “I would like to congratulate him on his new position and welcome him to SMMUSD.”

Shelton holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Hampton University; a Master of Arts in social studies with an emphasis on psychology, political science and sociology from Ohio State University; a Master of Arts in educational administration from the University of Cincinnati; and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Kentucky.

Shelton was selected after a multi-step selection process ending with a meeting with the Superintendent and senior cabinet members. Pinsker said of this process to Canyon News, “We held a parent input meeting and a staff input meeting to get input as to the characteristics and skills that these two groups believe are important and blended in the district’s desires. All groups had a similar list that included: strong and experienced educational leader, values diversity, dynamic, student-centered, exceptional communicator with all stakeholders, collaborative, committed to excellence through equity and closing the achievement gap, to name a few.”

Shelton is expected to start around mid-September as SMMUSD helps to accommodate his out of state transition. He will be replacing Eva Mayoral who left the district in July to be with family out of state. In the interim, Ms. Diana Garcia will serve as the short-term interim principal for Santa Monica High School. She has worked as a teacher and the assistant principal for Santa Monica High School, and her familiarity with the school will benefit the House Principals and staff during the transition.