By PHOEBE SOLOMON
On April 15, IUSD (Irvine Unified School District) announced that a new principal had been selected to fill the spot that will be vacated by Mr. Pehrson at the end of the 2014-2015 school year.
The district’s selection, Dr. Kevin Astor, has four years of administrative experience at Capistrano Valley High School and has served as Principal for Orangeview Junior High School and as Assistant Principal at both Cypress High School and Walker Junior High. Prior to that, Dr. Astor taught Spanish at multiple institutions. With various degrees from the University of Southern California, Boston University and the United States International University at San Diego, Dr. Astor’s years of education, teaching and administrative responsibilities distinguished him as a qualified applicant. Dr. Astor is expected to assume his position on July 1, 2015.
Mr. Pehrson offered some insight into the selection process, describing it as a “three to four step process.” After advertising the position for about two weeks, the district received, by Pehrson’s estimate, “30-40 applicants”. About half of these applicants were chosen to participate in a first round interview, a brief meeting conducted by the assistant superintendent. The goal of these interviews was to distinguish which applicants were personable enough to bring to a panel interview. A group of about fifteen teachers, students, and district officials comprised a panel which interviewed 8 candidates who made it past the first round.
University High School (UHS) administration hopes that Dr. Astor’s administrative experience will translate to the UHS community. In respect to any changes in UHS policy, Pehrson said that changes will be implemented at Dr. Astor’s discretion. Pehrson believes that “upon Dr. Astor’s arrival, one of the main questions that will be asked is ‘how can we make this school better?’”