September 11, 2019


SUBJECT:      Helen Griffith Named Inaugural Executive Director of The Preuss School UC San Diego

We are delighted to announce that following a nationwide search, UC San Diego alumna Helen V. Griffith, Ed.D., has been appointed the inaugural executive director of The Preuss School UC San Diego, effective October 7, 2019. Most recently, Dr. Griffith was the founding executive director and CEO of ?3 Civic High, a public charter high school located in the San Diego Central Public Library, a role which she has held since 2012.

The Preuss School UC San Diego is a unique charter middle and high school for low-income students who strive to become the first in their families to graduate from college. Located on the UC San Diego campus, The Preuss School is consistently recognized by U.S. News & World Report as the best high school in San Diego County and among the top 10 in California.

Dr. Griffith has garnered over 20 years of experience as an educator, principal and founding principal for schools serving diverse populations in the San Diego region, specializing in leadership development, school transformation, and educational entrepreneurship. Prior to joining e3 Civic High, Dr. Griffith served as dean of students at Crawford High School, as vice principal at Lincoln High School, and as founding principal of Millennial Tech Middle School. In all of these roles she developed deep external partnerships, cultivated critical philanthropic support, and served as a strong advocate for the schools to the wider community. She has received numerous professional honors for her transformational work. Dr. Griffith earned a bachelorís degree in communication from UC San Diego and a masterís in educational technology and doctorate in educational leadership from San Diego State University.

As executive director of Preuss School, Dr. Griffith will report directly to UC San Diego Executive Vice Chancellor Elizabeth H. Simmons and work closely with Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. She will also collaborate with The Preuss School Board of Directors, Interim Principal Pete Selleck, the chief administrative officer, development officer and the broader school community to develop and implement long-range plans in alignment with the schoolís mission and strategic vision. Dr. Griffith will also collaborate with stakeholders at The Preuss School to address the needs and drive the academic success of an outstanding and diverse student body. She will represent and advocate for the school at the local, state, national and international levels.

The Preuss School enrolls more than 800 students in grades six through 12 who come from over 40 diverse San Diego communities. The school is dedicated to empowering low-income and first-generation students through an innovative college-bound culture. Students at The Preuss School benefit from longer learning times, which add up to nearly an entire extra year over the course of their middle and high school careers, funded in part by philanthropic support. Courses are also strategically designed to fulfill and exceed University of California admissions requirements. As a result, over 90% of Preuss graduates are accepted to four-year universities, and almost 100% go on to some form of higher education.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Helen Griffith to The Preuss School UC San Diego. Dr. Griffithís transformational leadership in the field of K-12 education, and her passion for and experience empowering diverse populations of students, make her uniquely qualified to lead The Preuss School UC San Diego in its continued trajectory of innovation and excellence in education. We look forward to partnering with her in supporting Preuss students in the years to come.

Pradeep K. Khosla

Elizabeth H. Simmons
Executive Vice Chancellor