Karina Gerger named principal of Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach

Karina Gerger, the new principal at MCHS. Photo courtesy MBUSD

Karina Gerger has been named as the new principal at Mira Costa High School. She will replace Ben Dale, who in March announced he would be stepping down after 11 years as principal. 

Gerger emerged as the leading candidate following a panel interview by teachers, classified employees, administrators, and parents, as well as interviews with the Superintendent and cabinet. 

“We are absolutely thrilled to recommend Dr. Gerger as the next principal of Mira Costa High School,” said Manhattan Beach Unified School District Superintendent Mike Matthews, who recently announced his own departure at the end of this month. “I have worked closely with Dr. Gerger since 2010, and I am confident she is the right person for the job. Dr. Gerger has been an MBUSD employee since 2004. Her collaborative and supportive leadership style has strengthened every school community she has served. She has a lifelong love of learning and teaching, and is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the Mira Costa High School community.”

Dale announced his departure in a school newsletter in late March. 

“I end my 11-year tenure with a full heart and sincere gratitude for the time spent with students, staff and the entire MBUSD community,” Dale said in the newsletter to Mira Costa families. “Every day and every moment with students has been rewarding and memorable.” 

School board president Jen Fenton praised Dale at the March 17 board meeting, describing him as “a man of virtue and loyalty.” 

“He loves every student as if they were his own, and he loves every staff member as if they were his brother and sister,” Fenton said. 

Shawn Chen, president of the Manhattan Beach Unified Teachers Association and a teacher at Mira Costa, expressed optimism regarding Gerger’s appointment. 

“We are looking forward to a collaborative relationship with new leadership,” Chen said. 

Gerger began her career in MBUSD in 2004 as the English Learner (EL) Coordinator. She then became a BTSA Coordinator, mentoring teachers across the South Bay, and taught 5th grade at Pacific Elementary before moving into the role of District Teacher on Special Assignment for 21st Century Teaching and Learning. She served as assistant principal at both Manhattan Beach Middle School and Mira Costa High School. For the last four years, she served as principal at Pennekamp Elementary School. 

Dr. Gerger said she was honored to return to Mira Costa as principal.

“It is an absolute honor to be selected as the next Mira Costa High School principal, and to follow Dr. Ben Dale, who has given his all to Costa for the last 11 years,” Gerger said. “Pennekamp Elementary has been my heart and soul for the last four years and I will truly miss the incredible students, staff and community who have been a part of that journey. I look forward to being a Mira Costa Mustang again and for all the adventures ahead. Go Costa!” ER 

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