Summer sees changes in DBHS staff

Over the summer, Diamond Bar High School has seen several changes in its staff and administration. Among them was the resignation of Assistant Principal David Hong. 

Hong, who will leave on July 31, has accepted a new position at the College Board as the first-ever director for Environmental Science.

“This situation has developed very fast and caught all of us by surprise,” Principal Reuben Jones said in a memo to the staff.

According to Jones, Hong was encouraged to apply for the job by the AP Environmental Science community and the College Board. While at DBHS, Hong was an administrator and teacher for more than 25 years, 14 as an instructional dean. He held the role of assistant principal for the past three years.   

Stepping in to replace him as interim assistant principal will be Matthew Brummett, who was the assistant principal at Suzanne Middle School last school year. During his time at DBHS, Brummett taught social science, became girls head soccer coach and was eventually promoted to instructional dean.

“Matt [Brummett] is a trusted administrator, colleague and Brahma who will make a significant and positive impact as assistant principal,” Jones said.

In addition to Hong and Brummett, a number of  teachers have left DBHS, departures that previously were not announced. 

Physical education teachers Stephanie Green and Marcus Hughes will not be returning this fall. Green is retiring after working for more than 20 years at the school. Hughes, who was also the head girls basketball coach, has accepted a position as a head football coach and PE teacher in Washington. Hughes had previously served at DBHS head football coach.

Meanwhile, ROP teacher Sabrina Ruiz-Emmons has resigned, and interviews to fill in her position have been scheduled.

Lastly, school psychologist Lori Lowe has retired after 28 years in WVUSD, the  last three years at DBHS. She will be replaced by Inger Turner, the former school psychologist at Suzanne Middle School.

Mirroring the decline of teachers is a smaller student population. This fall, DBHS is anticipating a student body of about 2,600. There were 2,709 students at DBHS last school year, according to the California Department of Education.

Fewer students means less funding for the school. In order to deal with the budget cuts, Jones noted that fiscal stability is a priority for this school year.

Part of his plan entails a hiring freeze, meaning DBHS won’t fill in certain positions after those teachers have retired or resigned. 

“I want to emphasize that the current budget situation is not permanent and the hiring ‘freeze,’ though challenging, is temporary,” Jones said. “Due to the current increase in elementary age enrollment, we anticipate growth in the near future.”

Currently, there is no plan to replace former Instructional Dean Denise Loera. Instead, Jones will set up an administration responsibility chart that details how other staff members will share her workload.