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The Preuss School,
One of “Best High Schools in America,”
Taps Scott Barton for School Principal

Appointment Follows Competitive National Search

May 30, 2008

By Pat JaCoby

UC San Diego today announced the appointment of Scott Barton, acting principal, to the post of principal of The Preuss School. The appointment by UC San Diego Chancellor Marye Anne Fox is effective June 1, 2008.

Photo of Scott Barton
Scott Barton

Barton has served as acting principal of the school for the past eight months and, prior to that, was The Preuss School Dean of Students for eight years and a founding faculty member.

“Scott has dedicated 27 years to working as an administrator and teacher, and has shown great leadership and management skills during this time as acting principal. His knowledge, background and tenure at Preuss uniquely qualify him for this position,” said  Fox.  “Collaboration has been the cornerstone of his leadership.  He understands the mission of the school and has worked closely with the faculty, staff, students, parents and UC San Diego representatives in establishing strong management processes and communications with key stakeholders.”

As principal, Barton will serve as the academic leader and manager of the overall systems and processes.  He also will be the architect for establishing standard operating procedures that will stand the test of time and support the work of the students, faculty and staff.  His previous duties as the Dean of Students included building the school’s master schedule, and developing policies and procedures.  “This experience makes him the right person for this position at the right time,” said Fox.

“I am honored by the appointment,” noted Barton, “and I feel proud to lead a school that continues to meet its priority goal of sending students to four-year colleges, students who might otherwise not have had the opportunity to obtain a higher education.”

Over the last eight months Barton’s leadership has resulted in significant changes as a result of open dialogue and a comprehensive assessment of programs and processes.   For example, The Preuss School administration team, in collaboration with The Preuss School registrar, implemented revised grade submission procedures assuring compliance and accountability.  Based on a national discussion about how the overall order of science classes can prepare students for their coursework, Barton brought together a diverse group of Preuss faculty, department chairs, members of the science department, and University faculty to consider the idea of reordering the sequence of science classes – beginning with biology, then chemistry and physics. As a result of this open dialogue, the reorder is now being implemented.

Barton’s educational background includes an administrative credential from San Diego State University, a master’s degree in computer education from USIU/Alliant University, a teaching credential from San Diego State University and a bachelor’s degree, also from San Diego State University.  He previously served as a resource teacher and ASB advisor at Hoover High School in San Diego from 1990 to 1999, and prior to that as a 7th and 8th grade teacher at Wangenheim Junior High School, also in San Diego.

The Preuss School is a middle and high school dedicated to providing intensive college-prep education for motivated low-income students who will become the first in their families to graduate from college. The school is jointly chartered by UC San Diego and the San Diego Unified School District. Opened in 1999 with 150 students, the school currently has 755 students in grades 6 through 12. Ninety-six percent of the seniors in the last two graduating classes were admitted to four-year colleges.

This month Newsweek magazine named The Preuss School the 6th best high school in the nation among 1,300 schools. The school also has been named the 10th best school out of 18,000 high schools surveyed by U.S. News and World Report in its annual “America’s Best High Schools” report.


Media Contacts:
Pat JaCoby, 858 534-7404
Brook Williamson, 858 534-0361


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