HomeCity NewsHMS Principal’s Action Plan Hits Bull’s-Eye

HMS Principal’s Action Plan Hits Bull’s-Eye

As Huntington Middle School Principal Mary Hazlett set her aim on an action plan modeled after the San Marino Unified School District Board of Education goals, she hit her target.

In a presentation on Sept. 12, Hazlett discussed the key areas of focus associated with the Board’s goals, including safety and wellness.

Hazlett, who took the helm as principal at the start of this year after serving as assistant principal, said HMS will continue its commitment to safety and wellness with its annual CPR, disaster preparedness and other training and drills for staff and students. This preparation covers teachings, practices and procedures for earthquakes, fires and other critical incidents.

In regard to security, she said the campus has already seen much improvement thus far.

“We are grateful for the extended, expanded and targeted security training our staff have been receiving from Peter Crabbe through the district,” Hazlett said.

“We have been expanding and heightening the fences and entrance security around campus, including more cameras and buzzer entries. We will continue to have our Site Safety teams review and analyze our comprehensive School Site Safety plans in collaboration with the SMPD, SMFD and LACO.”

She attributes the ability to maintain a safe school environment to community involvement and awareness.

“We prioritize safety and wellness at our School Site Council meetings, with participation from San Marino police and fire, as well as during our weekly PTA meetings and monthly staff meetings,” Hazlett said.

“We are fortunate to partner with Chinatown Services for wellness support for our students and families. Our Family Matters workshop series is beginning Sept. 28 and is a free 10-part workshop series led by mental health professionals, providing a space for parents and their children to learn about communication and build and strengthen their relationships.”

The HMS Wellness Center, known as the “Zen Zone,” is a popular place among students to visit during lunchtime, said the principal, who noted that it is a supported space where they can access counseling.

For off-campus resources, the Fox parent-student handbook is supplemented with information on the Titan Wellness Center and how to obtain a referral. The Titan Wellness Center is also promoted in the school’s weekly newsletter and other communications.

Hazlett said the middle school is proudly equipped with WEB (Where Everyone Belongs) students, which is composed of upperclassmen who provide encouragement and information to sixth grade students not only at the beginning of the year through an orientation, but also join the ASB to provide answers and guidance to families during events, such as Back-to-School Night.

HMS is a champion for restorative practices and universal design for learning, with ongoing training for teachers and staff.

“We are excited to have the second year of students and staff learning restorative practices techniques for creating deeper communities in their classrooms, which gives students a stronger sense of belonging and a responsibility to the group,” she said.


The middle school, which currently has 687 students, supports fiscal health and sustainability by their continued work toward maintaining and increasing enrollment.

Hazlett said HMS looks to its PTA, as well as community groups like the San Marino Schools Foundation, the Chinese Club of San Marino and the Rotary Club of San Marino, which all play a role in bringing new families to its campus.

“With the amount of requests we receive from families, already, wanting to join our school next year, our employees wanting their children to attend our schools and the many tours to prospective families we provide throughout the school year, it’s clear that being a Huntington Fox comes with great pride as our students receive a superior education each and every day,” said Hazlett. She added that collaborating with teachers, staff and community members on a needs assessment and master plan to ensure that HMS facilities are “top notch, attractive and functional for students, staff and families” are also critical to the school’s success.

To share the school’s milestones — big and small — HMS turns to social media, a weekly newsletter, its website and local newspapers to spread the news, Hazlett said.

“It’s important that the local community and those interested in SMUSD schools are aware and knowledgeable of our academic and enrichment programs, our special events throughout outstanding PTA and our close partnerships with our parents and families,” she said.


“This is my natural place — my first job was at Nordstrom, just to let you know,” Hazlett told the Board, when speaking on the topic of service. “We were all about customer service and making people happy.”

Hazlett has brought that philosophy with her in her role as principal. In Nordstrom-like fashion, HMS even incorporated new display cases throughout campus to help mainstream communication of opportunities, such as after-school academic support programming, daily lunchtime hangout locations, and flyers for upcoming dances and events.

“At Huntington, our priority is demonstrating a culture of service, value and appreciation,” Hazlett said. “We do this through clear communication with families, staff and students about events, opportunities and expectations. We celebrate student success at monthly gatherings, through daily announcements, via social media and student work displayed in the HMS main office lobby.”

In addition to keeping in touch with the community through its newsletter, local newspapers and social media accounts, the middle school also communicates through email, a bimonthly webinar and conversations in public arenas, such as events like the annual Hauntington Breakfast or the Chinese Club of San Marino’s Mid-Autumn Festival.


In order to prepare students to be “high-quality global citizens,” Hazlett said HMS will always encourage students to stay connected — to participate in clubs, academic and athletic teams, outdoor education opportunities and other community events.

The staff and teachers are tasked with being steadfast in implementing their knowledge of restorative practices with students, she said.

“The next cohort of [universal design for learning] teachers will highlight and celebrate the various strategies and opportunities students have to learn material and express their mastery of the content,” Hazlett said. “We will follow up with teacher collaboration on those best practices and always share the findings.

“Lastly, we will continue to reinforce HMS character traits, celebrate those that exemplify them and reward students verbally and nonverbally for acting in a manner that is becoming of a Huntington Fox and a San Marino Unified School District student.”

First published in the Sept. 28 issue of the San Marino Tribune


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