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Published on October 3rd, 2017 | by Pauline Gonzalez

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Same welcomes new O-house principal

The start of the year brought the welcoming of new O-House Principal Isaac Burgess. He was approved at one of the SMMUSD Board of Education meetings this summer following the departure of Dr. Regina Zurbano who left to become the Principal of John F. Kennedy High School in La Palma, California.

Before he started his career in education management, Burgess served as a teacher in Florida. There, he held many administrative positions within the Marion County Public School district, exploring his interest in school management. Most recently he served as the Principal at Morningside High School in Inglewood, California.

His desire to impact the lives of students led him to the Samo community. He credits the ability to join a supportive community that allows for involvement as a huge motivational factor in joining SMMUSD.

“Everyone is really welcoming. The staff, students and parents have all been really respectful,” Burgess said.

According to Burgess, one of his primary goals as O-House Principal is to close the achievement gap. He hopes to limit the stark difference in levels of academic achievement between different groups of students at Samo. Additionally, he hopes to be able to increase college and career readiness using many different approaches. Those may entail workshops or be achieved through class curriculum.

While his first few weeks have been great, there was some apprehension in starting over at a new school. Ultimately however, he had a great transition because of the welcoming community at Samo.

“Samo is a great school, I’m looking forward to continuing that progression,” Burgess said.

Burgess is excited to be involved in all aspects of campus life, including academics and social events. According to Burgess, it’s one of the things that sets Samo apart; no place he’s worked at has had the same level of involvement and collaboration.

“I’m really excited about the community hear at Samo, everyone is so supportive. There are so many ways to get involved,” Burgess said.

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