SMUHSD Press Release


Date: April 20, 2016

San Mateo Union High School District (SMUHSD) Staff to Recommend Mr. Paul Belzeras

New Principal of Burlingame High School
Belzer, Principal at Mills High for Past 10 years,

Viewed as Leader Who Can Bring Student-Centered Experience and Vision to Burlingame High

San Mateo, Calif. - After an extensive search for an administrator to serve as the new principal of Burlingame High School, the San Mateo Union High School District (SMUHSD) staff will recommend to the Board of Trustees that the current Mills High principal, PaulBelzer, take over the top administrative post at Burlingame High School. Superintendent Kevin Skelly will be recommending Belzer to the BHS principal position at the April 21, 2016 Board of Trustee meeting. If the Board approves the appointment, Belzer will start in his new role on July 1, 2016 and a search for Mills High's new leader will commence immediately in collaboration with the Mills school community.

Belzer is known to be a strong school leader with an ability to engage parents and families in student achievement, as well as in matters affecting the entire school community. Mills High School has thrived under his leadership with student achievement consistently increasing.  During his time as principal, the school developed a culture with a strong focus on student social-emotional health and well-being.  He is well respected for his strong and clear vision of high school life, his focus on building a positive school culture, his work empowering others to take ownership for community success, and his upbeat, warm personality. Belzer's skills and disposition match the characteristics stakeholders who participated in the recruitment process identified as important in the next Burlingame High principal.

"I will forever be grateful to the Mills community of staff, students and engaged families who helped me become a better principal," explains Principal Belzer. "I have been a Viking for the past 11 years and it has been the most rewarding position of my career. My time at Mills has helped me grow personally and professionally and I feel ready to take on new challenges at Burlingame High. I'm hoping to bring all of the skills I have learned over the past 11 years to BHS."

Belzer has been in education for 26 years. He started out as an English teacher with the Kern High School District in Bakersfield, California followed by a teaching position with the Cabrillo Unified School District. In 2002, he became Assistant Principal of the SMUHSD's Capuchino High School where he served for three years before becoming Assistant Principal of Mills High School. In 2006, Belzer was appointed principal of Mills. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree with the University of Wisconsin, and a Master of Arts, Educational Administration with San Francisco State University. Also, from 2008-2011, he was a Stanford Principal Fellow.

"It is never easy to recommend that a sitting principal be appointed to a new school, and it's not something we do very often as a District," explains Superintendent Skelly. "I believe Mills will continue to thrive under a new principal.  At the same time, Mr. Belzer will benefit from the rejuvenation and opportunity to grow that a new leadership position represents.  I think that the BHS community will enjoy Mr. Belzer's leadership style, and I'm looking forward to working with the Mills community on finding their next leader."

To learn more, call Sheri Costa-Batis, Communications Manager, at 650-558-2202.

Posted on April 27, 2016 .