Former Student Becomes Principal


This year, there is a new principal, Marisa Palacios. She hopes to imbue students with the same mentality that helped her succeed when she was a student here.

As the first principal to be an alumna of AHS, Palacios says she aims to use her personal experience as a former student to improve the campus environment.

Palacios notes that one of the major issues she faced as a student was limited class sizes.

“When I got into my senior year and applied for certain colleges, I was denied because I was put into the wrong math and science classes,” Palacios said. “I felt like somebody else was in charge of my trajectory and I wanted to take that back.”

Palacios attended East Los Angeles College followed by the University of California, Los Angeles and California State University, Los Angeles. She earned her bachelors in English and later acquired her doctorate in educational administration. She has worked for the Alhambra Unified School District for at least 15 years as an English teacher and as an assistant principal at San Gabriel, Mark Keppel and Alhambra High.

One of her goals for the school year is to open new opportunities for students such as providing more AP/honors and CTE classes to bring real world skills into the classrooms.

Palacios aims to attend as many sports games and club events as possible to under- stand and connect with the school culture. She also plans to focus on topics such as class size and school lunches, issues that have also been raised by many students.

Other students have voiced their complaints after not receiving the classes they requested.

“I feel that they are very hard to get into and there aren’t enough AP classes,” sophomore Brandon Guzman said.

Palacios said she welcomes more feedback so that necessary steps can be taken to solve these problems. She also advises students to keep their options open and to stay active in school.

Palacios is not the only alumnus who is part of the current administration. Vice principals Sharon Ferry, Thomas Kahout and Caroline Botros are also alumni.

“One thing I noticed that I, as well as other students faced, was family problems,” Ferry said. “The district has [since] implemented policies… that have improved the situation.”

As a former and a current Moor, Palacios wants to ensure that all students are heard.