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EMUHSD Alumnus to Lead South El Monte High as New Principal

jorge morales

Longtime El Monte Union educator, administrator and El Monte High School Class of 1989 graduate Dr. Jorge Morales has been selected to lead South El Monte High School as its new principal. 

Morales, who has been the school’s assistant principal of instruction since 2016, has served in various educational and leadership capacities across the District since 1996. He assumed his new role on July 1.

"I am incredibly humbled and honored to become the next principal at SEMHS and am especially grateful to the EMUHSD Board of Trustees and to our superintendent for giving me this opportunity to serve the SEMHS students, staff and community,” Morales said. “I welcome this new challenge and will strive to build on the strong tradition of academic and athletic excellence here at SEMHS. Our students will continue to benefit from a safe school culture that promotes Future Ready skills and our District’s mission of building a Community Committed to College and Career.”

Morales was previously a social science teacher and coordinator of the Teacher Preparation Academy at Mountain View High School before becoming a resource teacher at South El Monte High School. From 2007 to 2016, Morales served as assistant principal of activities at Mountain View and South El Monte high schools and assistant principal of student services at El Monte High School.

“As an educational leader, Dr. Morales leads with a blend of wisdom, kindness and patience,” said Ken Besocke, an instructional coach at SEMHS who works with Morales to implement effective teaching strategies, support individual departments and provide instructional resources. “Any interaction with Dr. Morales soon reveals incredible compassion and passion for guiding our school to educate all students.”

Morales holds a bachelor’s degree from Cal State LA and a master’s degree from Cal Poly Pomona. He was recently awarded his doctoral degree from the USC Rossier School of Education.

“Dr. Morales is a devoted advocate of doing what is best for students and providing our teachers and staff the support needed to strengthen existing programs to support all students,” Superintendent Dr. Edward Zuniga said. “Dr. Morales is a product of the District who consistently demonstrates innovative techniques and effective instruction through his leadership. I have all the confidence that he will continue to lead South El Monte High School toward success.”