SAN YSIDRO – San Ysidro School District has appointed new principals to kick off the new school year at San Ysidro Middle School and Smythe Elementary School.

Roberto Carrillo, who has more than 20 years of experience in education, will serve as San Ysidro Middle School’s new principal. Joel Tapia, who has spent the last six years as a principal in the San Diego area, will lead Smythe Elementary.

“Mr. Carrillo and Mr. Tapia are experienced leaders and longtime San Diegans who understand the challenges and aspirations of our community,” San Ysidro School District Superintendent Dr. Julio Fonseca said. “We are thrilled to have them join our staff and build upon the cornerstones of our success.”

Tapia, who began his career as an elementary teacher, most recently served as principal at Solana Vista Elementary School in Solana Beach, where he implemented a STREAM (science, technology, research, engineering, arts and mathematics) program. He previously led Chula Vista Elementary to its greatest growth in writing and reading. A graduate of San Diego State University, he spoke only Spanish during early childhood and can relate to the challenges of English learners.
“My career is an example of overcoming obstacles and working to achieve goals that do not always appear accessible,” Tapia said. “I have a passion for helping students confront their challenges and San Ysidro has the perfect vision for giving students the opportunities to thrive. I’m excited to build upon that at Smythe.”

Carrillo, who started his career as an intern, was also an English learner whose diverse experience includes roles as a district administrator, administrator in the juvenile court educational system, middle school teacher and assistant principal.

“As a longtime San Diego resident, I have always admired the San Ysidro community, which makes joining SYSD such a privilege,” Carrillo said. “I’m looking forward to collaborating with all staff, parents and students who make this District a successful one.”

SYSD Board of Education President Marcos A. Diaz said the new principals will contribute to the District’s culture of excellence and collaboration.

“Our two new additions have a record of high scholastic achievement that falls in line with our goals as a District,” Diaz said. “We anticipate a seamless transition of leadership, and the continued success of San Ysidro.”