[KHTS] – Valencia and West Ranch High Schools will welcome new principals this summer, William S. Hart Union High School District officials announced Friday.
John Costanzo, principal at Rio Norte Junior High and Mark Crawford, principal at Sierra Vista Junior High, will transition to their new posts on July 1, following the retirement of Paul Priesz from Valencia High and Bob Vincent from West Ranch High.
Costanzo, who will take the helm at Valencia High, has served as Rio Norte’s principal since 2007. Under his leadership, the school has earned API scores of more than 900 during the last few years.
He started his teaching career as a coach, teacher and administrator in the Arcadia and Glendale School Districts, before joining the Hart District in 1998.
He served as assistant principal at Saugus High School until 2004 and then at West Ranch from 2004 to 2007.
Costanzo has earned several awards during his years in Santa Clarita schools, including Middle School Principal of the Year from the Santa Clarita Valley Association of California School Administrators in 2011, the SCV ACSA David Millen Mentoring Award in 2008 and several awards from the Learning Disabilities Association of California.
“(Costanzo) has administrative experience inside the district and outside,” said Gloria Mercado-Fortine, Hart District board member, “so he comes with a long history…”
Because Rio Norte is a feeder school for Valencia High, “so many of them were his parents at both the schools,” she said, “and the schools articulated very well.”
Crawford is moving on to West Ranch High School, after serving as the principal of Sierra Vista since 2009. He has been instrumental in raising the schools API scores and implementing academic and extracurricular programs.
He also joined the Hart District in 1998, as a coach and teach at Hart High School until 2003. He then served as the assistant principal at Hart High until 2009.
Crawford has also held numerous district administrative positions in the Hart District, including president of the Hart District Management Association, chair of the Hart District Athletic Council, Foothill League coordinator for the CIF-Southern Section and member of the Curriculum Council.
Under his leadership, Sierra Vista Junior High School was named as one of 25 “Coolest Schools in America” in 2012 by Scholastic Publications and won the California School Board Association Golden Bell award for its physical education program. Sierra Vista Junior High School earned a Distinguished School Award in 2013.
This year, Crawford was named Middle School Principal of the Year in his area, by the Association of California School Administrators.
“Mark is a very impressive administrator,” Mercado-Fortine said. “He has such a way with parents and staff… He’s been very well respected he gets out there and does the job. He has great people skills; he’s creative and very inclusive.”
For more information about the William S. Hart Union High School District, click here.