WATSONVILLE — Pajaro Valley High School is in for some significant changes, most notably with construction starting soon on a long-awaited playing field.
But Pajaro Valley Unified School District’s newest high school has also seen recent leadership changes.
Matt Levy has taken the helm as principal, replacing Allison Niizawa, who recently became Director of Human Resources for Certificated Staff.
“It’s really exciting,” Levy said of his new position.
Levy came to the school five years ago as an assistant principal. He is currently in that role in charge of student services.
Levy started his career in education in 1995 at the Santa Cruz County Office of Education. It was there he earned his credential and began a journey that has taken him to seven school districts and 11 sites.
This includes time in Chicago and San Jose.
He taught social studies at E.A. Hall Middle School for two years, and became an assistant principal there after he earned his administrative credential.
He also taught at Renaissance High School, where his father Barney Levy worked for 31 years.
In fact, Levy’s sister, brother, mother and aunt were also educators.
“It’s a family cult,” he said.
Levy said he had been teacher for 17 years when he decided to become an administrator. He described the change as a “hard transition,” but said he wanted to take on a new challenge.
“As a teacher you have wonderful influence over the students you have in front of you,” he said. “But as an administrator you get the advantage of being able to influence and make decisions to help more students and what they need.”
Levy said he is looking forward to the completion of the school’s new athletic field, which he said will change the culture of the school.
“For me it will be one of the most exciting things that has happened in the last five years, and possibly the most exciting things that has happened since the school opened,” he said.