The Return of Ramirez


Aidan Sun, Editor-in-Chief

As the first semester comes to a close, a new face has stepped into the principal’s office here at Palos Verdes High School. Dr. Trista Ramirez began her term as interim principal on Nov. 29 taking over for Carter Paysinger, hoping to oversee the remainder of a successful 2021-22 school year.

Unlike Paysinger, however, Ramirez is no stranger to the PVHS campus and the Palos Verdes community. After graduating from Cal State Dominguez, Ramirez began her work as a school counselor at Palos Verdes Intermediate School (PVIS) more than two decades ago in 1999. Since then, she’s continued serving PVPUSD as a counselor at Ridgecrest Intermediate School, principal of PVIS and associate principal and head of counseling at PV High. 

During her time at PVHS, Ramirez worked to open the wellness center, something uncommon at the time for high schools in the South Bay. She also worked to improve the counseling department and the college and career center (CCC).

For the last few years, Ramirez took a step back from on-campus administration to work as the district’s Coordinator for Student Mental Health and Support. 

“I worked directly with the counseling programs, [grades] 6-12, about how we are supporting students’ mental health and wellness,” Ramirez said. 

“[I] also worked with student support specialists, our school-based therapists, on the programs that they deliver on-campus. I oversaw a lot of other things at the district office [too] related to basically what would be called student services [like] attendance, discipline, other support services for parents and coordinating a lot of those activities and then some.”

Ramirez appreciated her time spent working within other schools and at the district offices. After getting her master’s degree from Loyola Marymount University and doctorate from the University of Southern California, she used what she learned to work extensively to implement wellness programs, crisis response and improved college counseling. 

“I actually wrote my dissertation at USC on student mental health, and mental health and wellness programs in high-performing school districts and best practices for administrators,” Ramirez said. 

“When I moved to the district office it was an opportunity for me to work district-wide to put some programs and practices in place.” 

Despite her success at the district, however, Ramirez missed working directly with students and teachers and is happy to return, although temporarily, to PVHS. 

“I’m excited to be back,” Ramirez said. “[PVHS] is a place that I consider my home and I spent a lot of my career here so just being able to come back and help and provide support to the teachers and the staff and the students and the families [is] really something I’m excited to do.”

Outside of work, Ramirez enjoys cooking, gardening, reading and spending time with her husband and two daughters.

She will remain as principal until June with a permanent principal set to be chosen by the district before the 2022-23 school year.