HomePublicationSan MarinoFormer Principal’s Complaint Against SMUSD Is Resolved

Former Principal’s Complaint Against SMUSD Is Resolved

First published in the April 28, print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

A mediation between former San Marino High School principal Issaic Gates and the San Marino Unified School District has been resolved with Gates receiving $150,000, according to Superintendent Linda de la Torre. The resolution was approved late last week by the Joint Powers Authority, the agency that insures the SMUSD.

Gates, who from August 2017 until May 2020 served as principal of San Marino High School, filed the complaint against the San Marino Unified School District last April. According to the California Department of Education, the complaint — filed under the Uniform Complaint Procedures — is a written and signed statement by an individual, public agency or organization alleging a violation of federal or state laws governing certain educational programs.

Gates was hired in May 2017 to replace Mary Johnson, who retired. At the time, Gates was serving as assistant principal in charge of athletics and arts at Los Alamitos High School, a 3,300-student institution in Orange County.

Gates began teaching in the Pasadena Unified School District while earning a master’s degree in 2010 in education, administration and leadership. He earned a doctorate in educational leadership in 2013 from USC and frequently lectures on educational topics.

In May 2020, Gates was reassigned to the position of director of curriculum and community partnerships for the SMUSD when it was announced that Jason Kurtenbach would be the new principal of San Marino High School. 

Two months later, Gates was named principal of J.H. McGaugh Elementary School in Seal Beach.

Gates declined to comment on the matter.


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