Andre Illig, a principal from Orange County with a background in science, has been named the new principal of Los Osos Middle School.
He replaces Kyle Pruitt, who was promoted to principal of Morro Bay High School in May.
Illig, who plans to move to Los Osos with his wife and two young sons, will start July 18 and earn $115,313 plus benefits annually.
He said he was drawn to the San Luis Coastal Unified School District because of its progressive leadership and diverse student body.
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Illig most recently served as the principal at Johnson Middle School in Westminster for one year. Prior to that, he was the assistant principal at Mesa View Middle School in Huntington Beach after more than five years of teaching chemistry, biology and general science.
“My classroom became the lab where all students could learn and apply real practical scientific skills to daily life,” Illig wrote in a letter to San Luis Coastal staff and parents of students attending the middle school.
Illig has an undergraduate degree in chemistry and German from the University of Minnesota. Before entering the education field, he worked as a medicinal chemist for nearly three years at Ligand Pharmaceuticals doing active drug discovery research. He then got a teaching credential at Point Loma Nazarene University, followed by postgraduate studies in education at San Diego State and Claremont Graduate universities.
Illig takes the helm of Los Osos Middle School just three years after Pruitt implemented the STEAM program (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math). Pruitt will continue developing a similar program at the high school and focus on the increased use of technology for advanced learning, while partnering with Illig to help middle school students make a smooth transition to high school.
“The shift to a STEAM focus is a great opportunity for both students and the entire community,” said Illig. “By creating a school environment that emulates the 21st century college and career environment, we give the students a forum to further develop the critical skills to be successful in high school, college and career.”