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Principal's Corner

Ms. Giovanna San Martin, Ph.D.

Passionate Educator Dedicated to Pioneering Dynamic Academic Program/Services

Greater Seattle Area

Dr. Giovanna (Gia) San Martin joined the Renton School District in July 2009. Gia has served in the capacities of Executive Director, Director of Operations, teacher, dean, assistant principal, and principal for 22 years. Presently, she serves as the Principal at Renton High School (RHS), a position that she has held for six of those years. Gia’s administrative and leadership skills were first developed through her work in the business sector at not-for-profit organizations, after which she worked as a Director of Operations at Morningside Academy – a behavior analysis-focused K-8 experimental school – from 1996 to 2000. This position motivated and led her to teach in the public sector. From 2001 to 2009, Gia worked as a Career Technical Education (CTE) and Advanced Placement (AP) World History teacher for the Seattle School District (SSD) at John Marshall High School JMHS), as a Dean for the Evening School Program for the RSD at JMHS, and as a House Administrator at the World Bilingual School. Gia is a life-long learner and holds two bachelor’s degrees; one from the University of Washington, and another one from the Pontifical Faculty of Theology, a university in Lima, Peru. She later attended Seattle University, where she earned her master’s degree in School Administration. Gia is currently enrolled at the City University of Seattle, where she is completing a doctoral program in Education with a specialization in Human Resources and Diversity Management. She will graduate in 2019. Gia, a multilingual communicator, is known by her constituencies and the field for implementing quality-oriented best teaching practices to foster an enthusiastic, collaborative workplace while enforcing district policies, school procedures, and state laws. Gia is an influential strategist who sees the “big picture” at all times while employing a strength-centric approach to develop staff to become future leaders with accountability for their actions. She continually promotes diversity management and inclusion to increase her organization’s competitive advantage and promote equality of results for all constituencies. Gia stands apart as a highly accomplished educator, who promotes excellence in students’ academic, social, personal, and emotional growth. She achieves this via the development of dynamic programs and services and alignment of the organization standards with culturally intelligent and diversity-focused school visions, missions, values, and goals. The results of her work are seen in the development and implementation of an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School for all students and an increase in the graduation rate from 68.6% to 88% according to national standards (OSPI), and from 68.6% to 92% according to local calculations within her leadership at RHS.