Kelly Lowry named principal at Point Loma High
by SCOTT HOPKINS
Published - 07/14/20 - 08:15 AM | 2293 views | 1 1 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kelly Lowry
Kelly Lowry
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Following a lengthy round of applications and interviews, vice principal Kelly Lowry has been named to succeed Hans Becker as Point Loma High School's next principal. 

Lowry's first day on the job was July 1 and he has begun preparing for the currently planned first day of online classes on Aug. 31.

 The announcement of Lowry's promotion was made in a June 30 letter to the community and school staff by Dr. Sofia Roditti, chief of leadership and learning for the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD).

All interviews were conducted via Zoom, and they included panels of community members, parents, students, area superintendents from SDUSD, and Superintendent Cindy Marten.

Lowry came to PLHS in 2015, replacing the late vice principal Kevin Gormly. 

"He (Lowry) has played a key role in strengthening the access and instruction of students with disabilities, developing a student-centered master schedule, and promoted a positive school culture and climate," Roditti said.

Roditti also cited Lowry's ability to walk into classrooms and quickly assess teaching skills. She complimented his ability to work collaboratively with staff to develop a clear vision, rally the staff, and keep the community informed.

 

Additionally, Roditti praised Lowry's ability to work with teachers in a trusting manner to build skills by increasing their effectiveness and "toolbox" of classroom skills to meet the needs of each student.

 

"Being a principal now is really about being the instructional leader of their site," Lowry said, "There are other roles such as operational, ceremonial obligations, political and others, but it is really about what is going on in the classrooms."

 

One of Lowry's first challenges in these unusual times is preparing for a continuation of online learning Aug. 31.

 

"There are a lot of questions to be answered," Lowry noted, "Before students can safely return to campus. Online or on-campus PLHS will continue to do what it's done for 95 years and that is to be sure kids are safe and are learning."

 

"Our main focus will always be to continue our academic excellence and continue to improve the practices that have made PLHS a leader in the district forever,"

 

It is those traditions, Lowry believes, that have made PLHS unique. 

 

"There are few schools where families choose to send their kids, their grandkids and great-grandkids to the same school. We see fourth-generation Pointers all the time," he noted. That's because they know PLHS is a special place and they will get a great educational experience along with an alumni group that will support them all of their lives."

 

But it's more than just the education Lowry hopes to nurture.

 

"It is important that everyone's voice is heard, that we learn each other's stories and that leads to knowing more about each other and loving each other," Lowry noted. "We strive for PLHS being a safe place for every single student. Vice principal Dana Tolomeo has helped build such a culture, working with the Anti-Defamation League to have PLHS designated a 'No Place For Hate' school."

 

The school will continue to work around construction projects. The new three-story classroom/Media Center building fronting Chatsworth Blvd. is due for completion in January 2021 along with the renovation of classrooms in the 200 building. The 300 building is also currently undergoing renovation. After completion, most future work will be on the athletic fields and gymnasium.

 

"Everything the district has planned so far has been top-notch," Lowry observed, "Something not only the school but the community can be proud of." 

 

Lowry expects his replacement to be named by late July or early August.

 

Before coming to PLHS, Lowry spent a decade as a special education program resource teacher for SDUSD and an education specialist at Mission Bay High School.

 

Lowry's own childhood included schooling in his hometown of Fontana, Calif., and a bachelor's degree in psychobiology from UCLA in 2002. He completed his master's degree in special education recently at National University.

 

Lowry and his wife have a 3-year-old daughter and 9-month-old son who, he points out, will also attend SDUSD schools.

 

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Eric Awes
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September 20, 2020
Scott: nice background information on the new principal !
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