New principal at Hoover High School

New Hoover High School Principal Joe Austin in a family photo.

New Hoover High School Principal Joe Austin in a family photo.

Hoover High School has a new principal.

Joe Austin is leaving his post as principal at Joyner Elementary School in City Heights to replace former Hoover principal Chuck Podhorsky, who was tapped to take over at La Jolla High School. Austin, who earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from San Diego State University and his master’s degree in education from National University, served as principal at the San Diego High School of Business before moving to Joyner three years ago.

The San Diego Unified Board of Education announced the decision April 8. Austin said his work at Joyner has given him a greater understanding of schools in City Heights.

“I’ve worked outside the Hoover Cluster for about 20 years and I’ve never experienced a community as committed to its schools as the parents, staff and teachers who are involved with the Hoover Cluster,” Austin said. “It’s amazing and it is inspiring.”

Austin said his goals at Hoover include marketing the school to those in and outside the community.

“I’m absolutely blown away by the quality and commitment to the work that is going on here,” Austin said. “I’m committed to shamelessly promoting the great things that are going on at this school.”

Austin takes over at a critical juncture in Hoover history. The campus will soon undergo a transformation, as school bond funding will cover the cost of razing the administration, attendance and counseling building, and of erecting a new, three-story structure that will be connected to a new performing arts center. Construction is tentatively set to begin in December 2015.

In a posting on the Hoover High School website after he was appointed principal at Hoover, Austin wrote: “I am completely committed to helping build on our strengths at Hoover and to working together to create exciting new opportunities for Hoover Cardinals. I am looking forward to meeting you. Together, I know that we can make a difference in the lives of our students.”

Said district spokesman Jack Brandais of the new principal: “He’s a great guy. He’s one of our best.”