Earlier this year, Agoura High School’s Principal Larry Misel announced he would be retiring. While some news previously circulated about the new hire, LVUSD this week officially announced his replacement — Agoura resident Brian Mercer.

For the full details and announcement, and details, see below.

Full Announcement from LVUSD


Current Principal Larry Misel will retire after 40 years of tireless contributions and energetic leadership in the field of education, the last 15 at the helm of Agoura High School. AHS welcomes Brian Mercer to the position of principal effective July 1, 2013. With over 13 years of experience in public education, Mr. Mercer, an exceptional instructional leader with outstanding organizational management skills, brings great knowledge of curriculum and instruction to this leadership position.

“We are thrilled to add Mr. Mercer to the Agoura High School team,” said Dr. Dan Stepenosky, Superintendent of the Las Virgenes Unified School District. “The team at AHS has proven time and time again that they are visionary, collaborative and innovative on behalf of student achievement. I believe that Mr. Mercer’s quiet but firm confidence and strong command of curriculum and instruction in the 21st century will allow this team to maximize its talents and dedication to all students.”

In his role as principal, Mr. Mercer will work across all areas of curriculum and instruction, including transitioning the team into the Common Core, embedding educational technology, and leading the school toward embracing and implementing project-based learning in all classrooms.

“Project-based learning is a critical instructional strategy for 21st century learning” said Mr. Mercer. ” It allows students to take what they have learned and apply it. They use information to collaborate, problem-solve, communicate and implement. Because today’s students must demonstrate that they can dive in and solve problems, it is essential for success in the Information Age. I am thrilled to be at Agoura High School during this exciting time in public education.”

In his first year as principal, he will also be tasked with hosting the visiting team from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), as AHS is scheduled for its accreditation process this upcoming school year. Mr. Mercer also brings extensive experience with Regional Occupational Programs, athletics, and extracurricular management and oversight.

“His breadth of knowledge across instruction, curricula, extracurricular activities, athletics and school management gives him the experience to step in at AHS and help take us to the next level,” said Craig Hochhaus, Las Virgenes Educators Association co-president and math department chair at Agoura High School. “I am confident that the great team at AHS will give him a warm and encouraging welcome.”

Mr. Mercer has over 13 years of education experience, most recently as the assistant principal at Calabasas High School. At CHS, he was responsible for creating and implementing the school’s master schedule, overseeing the Career Technical Education program at the site, and collaborating with staff as the assistant principal in charge of curriculum and instruction, counseling, and discipline; he also has rich experiences in athletics and coaching.

Mr. Mercer received his Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from Sonoma State University and holds a Master’s degree in Education and Leadership from San Jose State University. In addition to working for LVUSD, Mr. Mercer’s education career includes positions at the San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District as an assistant principal, dean of students, athletic director, and teacher of both physical education and science.

He resides in Agoura Hills with his wife and their three children, two of whom are students in the LVUSD.