Several HUSD Leaders Receive Awards From the Association of California School Administrators

HUSD is proud of its distinguished and dedicated leaders who help push the mission and the vision of the district forward. We know we have some of the most passionate and innovative leaders working in support of students, however, it is also quite meaningful when it is recognized by others.

In March, the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Region 19 along with Western Riverside County Association of School Managers (WRCASM), a regional charter of ACSA, recognized several of our district leaders for their dedication to excellence in public education. Read below about their recognition and a little about why they are so deserving.

  • Kristen Anderson - WRCASM Hemet Unified Member of the Year

Ms. Anderson serves as the Director of Literacy and Intervention. Her career with Hemet Unified spans nearly 18 years. Her Cabinet Leader shared the following about her: “Kristen Anderson’s leadership was born from her passion and relentless core belief in supporting student growth. As a District leader she recognizes the individual strengths, talents and needs within the organization as opportunities that with intention, can be harnessed as a catalyst to go far together. In order to do this, she believes that it is critical that she work closely alongside all members of her department to identify exemplary practices while simultaneously removing barriers and ensuring that she has worked to create a safe environment that promotes professional growth for all. Kristen very simply believes that we are better together. When all members of the school are working towards a common goal, with clearly defined actions and metrics of success, student growth is inevitable.”

  • Zack Taylor - WRCASM High School Co-Administrator of the Year

Mr. Taylor is the Assistant Principal at Hemet High School and has served in that role for the last two and a half years. His Principal, Kim Romeril shared this about him: “Mr. Taylor has had a significant impact on creating a positive culture for students, staff, and families that he serves. Mr. Taylor understands and highly respects the work of a team. Hemet High is the largest school in the District, and as such, it can come with many challenges that the administration staff has to navigate. One of Mr. Taylor’s core values is to support the team, instead of himself as an individual. His most admirable qualities are his curiosity and genuine nature. He genuinely and deeply cares about p people and relationships, and because of this, staff, students and families embrace him and his leadership.” 

  • Jill Hollon - ACSA Region XIX - Elementary Co-Administrator of the Year

Ms. Hollon is currently the Assistant Principal at Little Lake Elementary. Her Principal shared this about her: “Mrs. Hollon is an exemplary administrator who has helped to shape a collaborative culture around teaching and learning, has been instrumental in creating a caring school community, and has expertly managed the daily school routines to create an environment where students and staff thrive. On many occasions, Mrs. Hollon has been able to reach our students with the most challenging behaviors. By taking the time to listen to their perspective, highlighting their strengths, and being available to support; Mrs. Hollon has developed these relationships of trust. This has helped increase their feeling of being connected to school and has significantly improved behavior.”

  • Dr. Emily Shaw - ACSA Region XIX - Student Services Administrator of the Year

Dr. Emily Shaw is currently the Director of the HUSD Wellness and Community Outreach Center and has served in this capacity since 2021. Her professional career spans 27 years, 20 of which have been at Hemet Unified. This is what Dr. Jen Martin had to share about Dr. Shaw: “ Dr. Shaw has worked tirelessly to remove barriers to student success by providing a wide continuum of basic needs for our families. Her Wellness team feeds 300+ families monthly with food distribution that is inclusive of fresh fruits & vegetables. Last year, she distributed over 175,000 pounds of food to families. A well-attended Resource Fair provided hundreds of free haircuts, free dental checks, free Chromebook computers, and free backpacks and school supplies to students. She oversees the operation of a full-time laundry room that uses donated laundry supplies, free to the families of HUSD students. She is truly a committed professional who exudes integrity and excellence as she humbly serves this community.” 

  • Darrin Watters - ACSA Region XIX - Business Administrator of the Year 

Mr. Watters has served as the Deputy Superintendent of Business Services with HUSD since 2019. Here is what his colleagues shared about him: “Mr. Watters promotes success for all students by his unwavering passion and expectation to remain fiscally solvent, aligning funding and resources with student priorities and educational outcomes. He oversees one of the largest Transportation departments in the county and potentially across the state, where he has aligned & improved transportation routes and expanded services to ensure all students are able to access their education. Deputy Superintendent Watters holds the highest code of ethics and commitment to professional learning. He applies his strong sense of ethical and moral decision-making to his work in all areas, but it can be most noted in his work in the area of Fiscal Services.”

  • Dr. Christi Barrett - ACSA Region XIX - Superintendent of the Year 

Dr. Barrett has served as Superintendent of the Hemet Unified School District for the last 7 years. Here is a little of what her Cabinet Team had to say about her: "As Superintendent, she has created organizational alignment through three simple yet critical goals aligned with a vision of embracing, educating, and empowering all students. She created the district vision and goals through the input of all staff across Hemet Unified. Dr. Barrett has worked to promote success for all students by her unwavering passion and expectation that learning occurs every day. She believes in educating and supporting the needs of the whole child, as well as the needs of the adult learner. Dr. Barrett has the highest code of ethics and commitment to professional learning. She leads all leadership meetings and provides real authentic practice around relevant situations to help empower her leaders to make the best decisions possible for our students. Her demeanor is always professional, warm, and sincere. Dr. Barrett is truly deserving of this recognition!'

As a district, we are incredibly proud of our leadership and their well-deserved achievements! Thank you for leading this district with the utmost professionalism and care for the students and families and staff of HUSD. Congratulations to all!