Head of School
Sierra Canyon School
11052 Independence Ave., Chatsworth
20801 Rinaldi St., Chatsworth
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The founding trustees of Sierra Canyon School shared a vision: to expand the elementary and middle school cofounded by Mick Horwitz and Howard Wang in 1978 into an institution for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade that would propel students toward a lifetime of success. With the hiring of Jim Skrumbis in 2004 as founding head of school, Sierra Canyon secured a visionary leader who has taken the school to a place of unparalleled growth and development.
During Jim’s tenure, Sierra Canyon opened an upper campus in 2009, built a 20,000-square-foot gymnasium and developed an additional 12-acre tract into top-notch athletic fields. With 42 contiguous acres spanning two campuses, Sierra Canyon has one of the largest independent-school footprints in Southern California.
Over the past 18 years, Jim has assembled a team of entrepreneurial-minded leaders to create a comprehensive program that draws creative thinkers, leaders and learners from all over Los Angeles County. Sierra Canyon aims to be inclusive and cosmopolitan, demonstrated by its national search for a director of diversity, equity and inclusion. Roya Fahmy accepted this role, beginning with the 2021–2022 school year.
“Every day, we honor our commitment to our students by helping them grow into thoughtful and compassionate scholars and citizens,” Jim shares.
The past 18 months have been challenging for everyone, and the world of independent schools is no exception. Under Jim’s leadership, Sierra Canyon safely offered its complete curriculum to the student body with a choice of two modes of learning. As the Los Angeles County guidelines changed, students were able to return to campus for in-person learning. Sierra Canyon School’s administration and faculty look toward the coming year with excitement and focus on their most important goal: to prepare students for the next step in their educational journey.