SCHOOLS’ REPORT: RUHS Principal Bridi bows out, new principal search underway

Anthony Bridi was principal at Patricia Dreizler Continuation High School prior to being named principal of Redondo Union High School. Photo by Nadia Bidarian

by Garth Meyer

Redondo Union High School Principal Anthony Bridi has left the post after three years, taking a new job within the district as principal of South Bay Adult School. 

Community engagement is now underway to develop a “leadership profile” for a new principal, according to Superintendent Nicole Wesley. The district hired a third-party consultant June 17 to conduct surveys and focus groups “so we can hear the voices of Redondo Union High School stakeholders…”

Bridi’s tenure at the head of RUHS followed five years as an assistant principal and three and half years as principal of Patricia Dreizler Continuation High School.

“An opportunity presented itself for reassignment, which I decided would allow me to continue to grow as an educator,” Bridi said. “I am very fortunate to continue to support RBUSD in a different capacity, in a community that I care for deeply.” 

Surveys regarding the new principal search went out June 24, collected last Friday. All RUHS students, parents and staff members received a questionnaire. Supt. Wesley noted that at least 540 responses were submitted. 

“We’re grateful to Mr. Bridi and all his service to the high school,” said Raymur Flinn, school board president. “That job is the hardest job in the district, outside of superintendent. It’s like running a little city; there is a high burnout rate.”

Wesley confirmed that the new principal candidates may be internal or external, with interviews starting next week. 

She expects the district to name a new principal at the July 16 board meeting. 

New administrators at the district usually start July 1, though timelines vary.

“A new principal starts whenever. There’s time,” Flinn said. “It’s moving, the process is moving; there’s no moss growing under anyone’s feet.”

Last December, the district honored Bridi for bravery regarding his actions to help apprehend a student with a gun. He has worked for the district for 21 years.

“We’re proud of the work Mr. Bridi has done. He has an amazing work ethic and is well-thought of,” Wesley said. “We see it as a win-win, with him going to South Bay Adult School.”  

I am thankful for the vast experiences I had at Redondo Union and the strong relationships established with our learning community,” Bridi said. “I am looking forward to supporting adult learners at (South Bay Adult School) and enjoying time with my family.” 

Consultant Gary Rutherford of Education Support Services Group has held three Redondo focus groups for the new principal search; one with students, another for parents and another with RUHS faculty department heads. 

Rutherford will ultimately send a leadership profile to Wesley.

Interviews begin with a panel made up of teachers, classified employees and a parent. If the group unanimously nominates a candidate, he or she advances to a second-round interview with Supt. Wesley and the high school’s cabinet of assistant principals.

The third step of the hiring process is a solo interview with Wesley, who recommends her final choice for school board approval. 

The superintendent noted that if the district does not find a suitable candidate, it will re-post the listing and begin the process again – as RBUSD did earlier this year with principal searches for Alta Vista Elementary and Washington Elementary. 

If time runs out before the 2024-25 school year begins, Wesley will appoint an interim principal. 

Bridi began at the district in 2003 as a long-term substitute, before joining staff as a sixth-grade world history teacher.  



District looks to increase students’ feeling of “connectedness,” “safety”

While Redondo Beach Unified School District’s local indicators of school progress all meet state standards, survey results for “connectedness” and “feeling safe” have led to, in part, a comprehensive district counseling restructuring.

Jason Kurtenbach, RBUSD director of student services, is working with site counselors.

“To target all students’ baseline, an equitable counseling experience, hitting all areas of importance,” said Susan Wildes, assistant superintendent, educational services.

On June 25, Lisa Veal, the district’s educational services executive director, gave the annual Local Education Agency (School District) Measures Progress/California’s Accountability System report to the Redondo school board.

The assessment considered five state priorities: basic services and conditions of learning, implementation of state standards, parent and family engagement, school climate and access to a broad course of study. 

The local survey – combined with other school data such as attendance and graduation rates – shows a Redondo Unified rate of school connectedness at 84% in fifth grade, 62% 7th grade, an 59% 9th grade. Feeling safe, 5th grade was 89%, seventh 65%, 9th 60% and 11th 63%.

“Nothing in here is really concerning, but we’re always looking for improvement,” Wildes said.

“Key takeaways indicate areas of growth,” said Beale, referring to safety and feelings of connectedness at the secondary level, and another category of increasing opportunities for parental input before school decisions are made.

For parents, 92% “strongly agree or agree” that school is a safe place for their child. 

All districts in the state take part in this process. The next step is for local data to be uploaded to the state by July 31.


Redondo Unified School District Superintendent Nicole Wesley. Photo courtesy RBUSD


Wesley reports potential bond near $278 million

Redondo Unified School District Superintendent Nicole Wesley said last week that discussions of a potential facilities bond now hover around $278 million. The school board is set to vote July 16 whether to put it on the ballot in November. 

School board President Raymur Flinn said she is ready to vote for a school bond, a fire department bond and a Beach Cities Health District bond this fall.

“All of these are important,” she said. “… We don’t ask a lot (at the school district), we refinanced the last bond multiple times… We’re doing our fiscal duty to keep these buildings safe for the citizens of Redondo Beach.”

Flinn concurred that the number for the school bond would be around $278 million. The district last put a bond in front of voters in 2012. 

The Redondo Beach city council is also exploring whether to run a bond in November, to raise money to remodel or replace two fire stations. Beach Cities Health District is looking into a bond that would pay for demolition of the former South Bay Hospital, among other items.



State money delivers arts parity to Redondo middle schools

Susan Wildes, RBUSD assistant superintendent, educational services, reported last week supplemental arts funding from California Proposition 28 – passed in 2022 – has arrived, with each local public school getting money, individually, as opposed to through the district. 

Expenditures for Redondo Beach schools include expansion to full-year music instruction for grades 1-4 – increasing it from half-year – choir and theater parity at the two middle schools, Adams and Parras, and new offerings at the high school such as orchestra, advanced choir, video game design and advanced digital photography.

Wildes noted that Mira Costa High School has orchestra, and RUHS has not had it until now.

The state money comes with a requirement to spend 80 percent of it hiring staff. ER



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