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Hayek takes over as principal at Ivy and Oasis high schools

School is starting in a few short days, and the students attending Fallbrook schools aren’t the only ones who are excited about the first day. New Oasis and Ivy high schools principal John Hayek is anxious to meet his new students and begin building relationships with them.

When former principal Melissa Marovich, who had held the position for eight years, decided to take a position as director of student services with the Fallbrook Union High School District (FUHSD), the district began looking for a new leader for the award-winning schools.

According to FUHSD superintendent Hugo Pedroza, Hayek is smart and capable, perfect for the role of principal.

“When I found out more about [Hayek], I was very impressed,” said Pedroza. “He has concepts about how to educate our kids. San Marcos High School was very fortunate to have him, and now we are fortunate to have him.”

Hayek is not new to the Fallbrook area. As a matter of fact, he has lived in Fallbrook for 13 years, and worked 12 of those years as an employee of the FUHSD.

“For eight years I was an English teacher at Fallbrook High, was athletic director for two years, and assistant principal for 4.5 years,” said Hayek. “Alternative education is something I’ve always been interested in, and when the job came open it was great timing.”

This will be Hayek’s first principal position, but he feels that this is an ideal transition after being an assistant principal at a comprehensive high school.

“ is the toughest job in education,” laughed Hayek. “While I might not be a principal of 2,000 students and 200 employees, this is a nice transition.”

As principal, Hayek feels he will continue being a champion for students who fall behind in school, regardless of the reason.

“Students fall behind credit-wise for a variety of reasons, such as socio-emotional reasons, where students struggle with the social aspect of a large comprehensive high school; or students from a low socio-economic status struggle to contend with their peers who are handed a better situation,” said Hayek. “While I’ve been assistant principal and teacher, I’ve gravitated towards those who require mentorship and extra levels of support.”

Hayek understands that students at both Oasis and Ivy will require a certain level of flexibility, but he will still hold students accountable.

“Despite what some might think, students thrive under structure,” said Hayek. “Sometimes structure is not coming from anywhere but school. Students actually require and prefer someone that will take charge. Yes we are flexible – we'll give them second chances and support them when they make mistakes, but we will have a level of accountability that the students will appreciate.”

Pedroza believes that Hayek will continue to build on the excellent leadership Marovich gave as principal of Ivy and Oasis.

“We always want to build on what has been done,” said Pedroza. “Ivy and Oasis are award-winning schools, and we expect [Hayek] to do great things. We are excited to see what he does.”

Hayek believes that he will continue to develop high rigor instructional practices for students at both Oasis and Ivy.

“One of my goals is to move forward with Ivy instructionally,” said Hayek. “I’ve been dealt a fantastic hand – a great environment and culture with students. There’s a lot of work to be done, regardless of how well the schools have done. To stay on top of education and continue being a model alternative high school and independent study school, we have to change and be on the cutting edge.”

Hayek hopes to show his dedication to putting students first at Oasis as well.

“More importantly, I want to put relationships first,” said Hayek. “I will use my relationship with staff as a model and example of how I expect others to treat students, parents and each other.”

Hayek expects that staff and students will find him approachable, willing to listen and accept input. Since his start on July 1, Hayek has been able to meet his staff and help develop the master schedule for both schools, in addition to doing all that's necessary to run the school. However, he cannot wait to meet the students.

“That’s why I’m here, to work with teenagers,” said Hayek. “That’s the natural part of the job, and doing this without students has been different, but we’re getting close to the start.”

Students and their families can meet John Hayek during the first week of school.

“My goal is to be approachable to students,” said Hayek. “Students will know and see me as someone that’s easy to talk to, but not someone easy to get something by. They will see that I will push and challenge them. They will see someone who is easygoing, and someone who definitely cares, taking the time to get to know them as individuals.”

 

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