Malibu’s new elementary school site now has a new principal to go along with it.

Chris Hertz was appointed principal for the new Malibu elementary school site which will combine Point Dume and Juan Cabrillo elementary schools. The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District’s Board of Education approved Hertz’s appoint at a Thursday, May 2 board meeting.

SMMUSD superintendent Dr. Ben Drati noted Hertz’s résumé and successes before introducing him to the podium.

“It’s my pleasure to introduce Chris Hertz as the first principal of the new elementary school in Malibu,” Drati said. “He comes from our neighboring Beverly Hill Unified School District … overall, bringing 25 years of educational experience to SMMUSD.”

Drati noted that Hertz has served at BHUSD since 2012, where he’s served in several directorial positions including Director of School safety, Director of Student Services and Special Projects and Director of Academic Excellence.

Before his time at Beverly Hills, Hertz served as a teacher, vice principal and elementary principal for schools in Pajaro Valley in Santa Cruz and Fremont in Alameda County. He earned his BA in American Studies at UC Santa Cruz and received his Masters in Education Administration from National University. He’s the recipient of many honors and awards including Administrator of the Year and Teacher of the Year.

Hertz told the board he’ll use all his experience to help build an enduring identity for the new school site.

“To build this school, we’ll bring the best traditions and practices from both of the wonderful schools that are merging,” Hertz said. “The most important thing is to make parents feel welcome and understand how to take advantage of all the resources we have to offer and to make sure the teachers have the most professional experience possible … It’ll be a unique challenge in bringing two schools together and that’s part of the excitement in accepting this position. I can’t wait to get started.”

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