The Coast News Group
Juan Mendoza was named the new principal of Diegueño Middle School in Encinitas. Courtesy photo/SDUHSD
Juan Mendoza was named the new principal of Diegueño Middle School in Encinitas. Courtesy photo/SDUHSD
CitiesCommunityCommunityEncinitasNewsRegion

SDUHSD hires new principal of Diegueño Middle School

ENCINITAS — The San Dieguito school board has officially named a new principal at Diegueño Middle School in Encinitas.

Juan Mendoza will begin the role on July 1, following his appointment by the San Dieguito Union High School District board last month. Mendoza will take over for Principal Celeste Barnette, whose resignation is effective June 28. 

Mendoza has over 30 years of education experience and is the principal at Van Buren Middle School in Albuquerque, New Mexico. After graduating from St. Mary’s of the Plains with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and health, Mendoza began his career as a PE teacher and head football coach at St. Pius X High School in New Mexico.

Additionally, he served as a high school and middle school assistant principal and holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from Creighton University.

The hiring of a new principal comes approximately two months after a Diegueño campus supervisor was arrested on March 25 after allegedly meeting with a 12-year-old female student and sexually assaulting her at an off-campus location. Omar Hernandez Galeana, 21, pleaded not guilty to all charges.

In addition to Mendoza, another new hire in the school district will start on July 1. Math teacher and administrator Bessma Garmo has been named the incoming assistant principal at San Dieguito Academy.
Garmo comes from the Grossmont Union High School District and has 25 years of educational experience.

Leave a Comment