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Pasadena Unified Announces the Selection of Blair, Franklin School Principals

May 26, 2016


Pasadena, CA – The Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) is pleased to announce the selection of school leaders who will help lead their respective schools into the next phase of success.

“This new school leadership team blends rising new talent with rich experience,” said Superintendent Brian McDonald. “In their new positions, Mr. Ibarra and Dr. Stewart are poised to contribute to the success of PUSD graduates.”

The new members of the PUSD leadership team are:

David Ibarra, Principal, Blair School, an International Baccalaureate School

Promoted to principal after a competitive process, David Ibarra has been assistant principal of Pasadena High School since 2013. Prior to that, he was the district’s secondary language arts coach since 2010 and began his career as a teacher at Eliot Middle School in 2004.  Mr. Ibarra has a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies from California State University, Fullerton; a Master’s degree and teaching credential from Azusa Pacific University, and an administrative credential from Cal Poly Pomona. He is fluent in Spanish. “I am honored and privileged to be the new principal of Blair School,” says Mr. Ibarra. “I look forward to establishing relationships with the students, staff, faculty, and the community at Blair and building on the outstanding International Baccalaureate and dual language programs so that we continue to cultivate graduates ready for college success. Go Vikings!”

Merian Stewart, Ed.D., Principal, Franklin Elementary School

Now in her 26th year as an educator, Dr. Merian Stewart returns to elementary school with a wealth of experience from Washington Middle School, where she has been principal since 2008, and where she ushered the school through its transition into a magnet campus with a science, technology, engineering, art and math focus. She was the school’s assistant principal since 2006. Prior to that, Dr. Stewart served as Director of Programs and Services for the D’Veal Family and Youth Services Mental Health Agency. Dr. Stewart was previously principal of PUSD’s Noyes Elementary from 1999-2004.   She began her career as an elementary school teacher in PUSD.  Dr. Stewart earned an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Change from The Fielding Institute in Santa Barbara, California; a Master’s in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena; and a Bachelor’s degree in Child Development from CSU Los Angeles.

“I am excited to work with the parents, staff, and students of Franklin Elementary to build a school of high expectations, rigor and excellence,” she says. “I am pleased to return to the elementary level and ensure that students are prepared for a successful transition to middle school.”

Principals Ibarra and Stewart will continue at their respective schools for the remainder of the academic year and transition to their new assignments this summer.  Meetings will be held with Washington Middle School stakeholders, students, employees and parents to solicit input in developing the new principal profile to inform the recruitment and selection process.

Stay connected to the Pasadena Unified School District!.  Visit us online at; follow us on Twitter@PasadenaUnified,; like us on Facebook at; text PUSD to 888777; and subscribe to our YouTube channel at Or call the Communications Office, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at (626) 396-3606.

Our Children.  Learning Today.  Leading Tomorrow.

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Pasadena Unified School District

351 South Hudson Avenue

Pasadena, CA 91101


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