John Calandro, the energetic, tech-savvy principal of Santa Lucia Middle School since March 2009, resigned July 26 to become principal of Laguna Middle School in San Luis Obispo.
Chris Adams, superintendent of Coast Unified School District (CUSD), has tapped Kyle Martin to fill the post, with starting salary set at $93,000 a year.
Martin was added to the district staff in 2012 as a resource specialist after having been assistant principal of the Grizzly Youth Academy in San Luis.
Assistant superintendent gone
In an unrelated move, Karl Dearie, former Coast Union High School principal who, in February 2012, became CUSD’s assistant superintendent in charge of human resources, business services and the district’s finances, “has left the district” and his $126,172-a-year job, Adams said.
Adams said that, under circumstances he would not explain, legal advisors have told him that there’s nothing else the superintendent could say about Dearie’s exit.
When asked, however, Adams did say, “we wish him well. Karl did good work.”
The Cambrian’s attempts to reach Dearie have been unsuccessful.
Some of Dearie’s job involved tasks formerly handled by former district Business Services Manager Sharon “Cookie” Henslin, who retired in 2012. She has returned temporarily to her former job, until a replacement can be hired
Calandro and Martin
There are other links between former middle school principal Calandro and new Principal Martin, including a shared teaching position years ago at Grizzly.
Calandro lives in San Luis Obispo, Martin in Cambria. Each man will be leading a middle school in his own back yard, literally just down the street from home.
“We’re going to miss his energy and enthusiasm, his perspective,” Adams said of Calandro. “He definitely put the kids first. But we’re happy for him” in his new position “and we’re excited to have Kyle leading the middle school.”
Calandro is vacationing and couldn’t be reached for comment.
Martin said Aug. 6 that his predecessor was “a phenomenal principal, and he leaves big shoes to fill. I knew him way back when, and was so happy to have the chance” to work with him at Santa Lucia. “But I’ll have him on speed dial.”
The new principal said he wants to continue what Calandro started at Santa Lucia. Martin said he’s blessed with “an amazing teaching staff, and we’ll continue to plow ahead and move forward. Last year was such a big year, with implementation of the iPads … now, with so much in place, the hardwiring and hardware is in the teachers’ and kids’ hands.”
Each Santa Lucia student is issued an iPad onto which texts, lesson assignments, homework and other study-related data can be loaded.