COVINA, CA – Three Covina-Valley Unified School District sites will have dynamic new principals as Terry Abernathy leads South Hills High School, Nick Garcia steps in at Sierra Vista Middle School, and Dr. Leo Magallón takes over at Northview High School for the 2023-24 school year.
All three principals were unanimously approved during a Board of Education meeting on April 10. They will start their new positions on July 1, 2023.
“All three schools are poised for success for years to come with their new leaders, and we are thrilled to welcome these outstanding principals to the Covina-Valley Unified team,” Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Eminhizer said. “We are excited for the excellence that these new principals will bring to our campuses and the continued student success under their leadership.”
Abernathy is a 27-year veteran in education with experience as a teacher, principal, and district administrator. He spent the last 17 years at Fontana Unified School District (FUSD), where he served as FUSD’s Director of Secondary Education for nearly three years and spent 12 years as a principal at Kaiser High School and three years as principal at Tokay Elementary School.
“I cannot wait to begin my journey as principal at South Hills High School and build on its reputation as one of the premier high schools in California,” Abernathy said. “I am committed to building positive relationships and collaborating with all educational partners to continue the traditions and successes that have made South Hills a beacon of excellence in the region.”
Garcia is a longtime educator with nearly 20 years of experience in education. Over the last seven years, Garcia has been the assistant principal at Giano Intermediate School in Rowland Unified School District. He was named the Association of California School Administrators Region 15 Secondary Co-Administrator of the Year in 2018-19.
“I was drawn to Covina-Valley Unified because of the sustained success of their schools, the positive feedback from students and staff, and their commitment to social-emotional wellness,” Garcia said. “My focus is to come in and build strong relationships with staff, students, and parents and work with all stakeholders to advance the goals of the school and District.”
Dr. Magallón is a proven leader with more than 12 years of experience in public education and has served as Northview’s assistant principal for the last two school years.
Before coming to Northview, he spent 11 years in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), where he was a teacher before serving as an intervention/prevention support coordinator at Boyle Heights STEM Magnet High School. Dr. Magallón led the school’s Engineering Design pathway to a Gold Certification from the Linked Learning Alliance as the career technical education (CTE) pathway lead and work-based learning coordinator.
“I look forward to continuing the work with everyone here and to expand on Northview’s strengths,” Dr. Magallón said. “My goal is to highlight the achievements of our students and staff and increase parent and community engagement so that our families feel welcomed at our school.”
CVUSD_PRINCIPALS1: Covina-Valley Unified School District appointed three new principals for the 2023-24 school year during its Board of Education meeting on April 10. From left to right: Terry Abernathy steps in at South Hills High School, Nick Garcia joins Sierra Vista Middle School, and Dr. Leo Magallón will assume leadership at Northview High School.
CVUSD_PRINCIPALS2: Terry Abernathy has been named the new principal at South Hills High School for the 2023-24 school year. He is a 27-year veteran in education and comes to Covina-Valley Unified after 17 years at Fontana Unified School District, where he has served as the FUSD Director of Secondary Education for the last three years. He holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from California State University, Los Angeles, and earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from California State University, Fullerton.
CVUSD_PRINCIPALS3: Nick Garcia was appointed Sierra Vista Middle School’s new principal for the 2023-24 school year. He has 20 years of experience in education and spent the last seven years as the assistant principal at Giano Intermediate School in Rowland Unified School District. He holds a master’s degree in education, a teaching credential from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of California, Berkeley. He also has an administrative service credential from the University of California, Irvine.
CVUSD_PRINCIPALS4: Dr. Leo Magallón will start his new position as Northview High School’s principal on July 1, 2023, after spending the last two school years as the Vikings’ assistant principal. Before coming to Northview, he spent 11 years in the Los Angeles Unified School District. He holds a doctorate in educational leadership from USC as well as a master’s degree in mathematics education and a bachelor’s degree in physics from Occidental College.