Welcoming New Principal Dr. Manoj Mahindrakar

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Courtesy of Dr. Manoj Mahindrakar

Effective July 1st, Dr. Manoj Mahindrakar will become the principal of SJH. Mahindrakar has worked in CUSD for 12 years in many different positions, including being a middle school principal. Mahindrakar smiles as he poses for a picture taken in the hills

Nikki Iyer, Staff Writer

While COVID-19 seems to be putting society on pause, the search for a new principal of SJHHS did not stop. Dr. Manoj Mahindrakar was recently voted to be the next principal of SJHHS, effective July 1st.

After former principal, Jennifer Smalley, left SJHHS to become the CUSD assistant superintendent, Tim Horning soon replaced her as interim principal for the remaining portion of the school year. Starting the next school year, Mahindrakar will be taking over Hornig’s position.

Mahindrakar does not lack a history in CUSD. Working in CUSD for 12 years and counting, Mahindrakar has been a history teacher, track and field coach, high school activities director, high school assistant principal, and middle school principal.

“I love everything that education stands for and I truly believe the public education system is one of the most important societal structures in our country. Driven by this love of education and schools, I also have always been drawn to collaboration and working with a diverse group of people to create and solve problems on a large scale,” said Mahindrakar.

Staying local, Mahindrakar earned his bachelor of art degree in political science and teaching credentials from UCI, his masters degree in education from UCI, as well as a doctorate of education from USC.

“I want to make sure SJHHS continues to be a safe and representative place for all students and I want to make sure we continue to grow and diversify to meet the needs of all our Stallions,” said Mahindrakar.

Working at SJHHS is a dream job and I will approach it with the utmost dedication and commitment. I am someone who will be a champion for all things SJHHS and will be honored to Ride for The Brand”

— Mahindrakar

When he’s not working, Mahindrakar is shooting hoops with his son, playing board games with his daughter, going on family hikes, attending concerts with his wife, or cooking for his family.

Eager to start the next school year, Mahindrakar is excited to get to know the campus, students, and staff of SJHHS. 

“I admire everything SJHHS stands for. I respect the commitment to excellence, I value the diversity of our students, community and staff. I also love the spirit of everyone here wanting to better themselves and the world around them. It’s a very empowering campus, and I feel proud to be connected to the SJHHS family. I honestly believe that I am working for students who will tangibly change the world for the better and that is an amazing privilege,” said Mahindrakar.

As the future face of SJHHS, Mahindrakar is excited for the years to come as principal.

“Working at SJHHS is a dream job and I will approach it with the utmost dedication and commitment,” said Mahindrakar. “I am someone who will be a champion for all things SJHHS and will be honored to Ride for The Brand.