Dear Abbott Families and School Community,
Welcome to the new school year! I am honored to lead the Abbott Falcons as Principal this year and am very excited to join the Abbott team after serving in a variety of high school administrative positions in San Mateo County over the past 23 years. I began my career in education as an English teacher and soccer coach in Bakersfield, CA, before joining the teaching staff at Half Moon Bay High School in 1996. After three years as an English teacher and teacher-leader at HMBHS, I joined the administrative team as an Assistant Principal. In addition to my teaching and administrative experience in Half Moon Bay, I have also served as assistant principal at Capuchino High School. More recently, I served as Principal at Mills and Burlingame High Schools from 2006 to 2022.
As a public school educator in California for over 30 years, I’ve been fortunate to work and learn with dedicated educators, supportive families, and curious and capable students to create schools focused on community, teaching and learning, and mutual respect and support. At the center of this work, I am dedicated to creating a student-centered, team approach in the service of all students. As such, I look forward to working with the Abbott community to create a school culture where all students can thrive.
Prior to beginning my teaching career, I earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin- Madison in English and Education. I later added a Master's degree in Educational Administration from San Francisco State University. Both these educational experiences helped shape a personal, educational philosophy rooted in equity and excellence for all students.
On a more personal note, I am married with two children who both attended SMFC District schools. In addition, I enjoy skiing, hiking, and spending time with our two dogs.
Each new school year is a new journey in our individual and collective experience. I look forward to our journey together as fellow Falcons as we strive to create an exceptional, growth-oriented educational community for all.
Paul Belzer, Principal of Abbott Middle School
Dear Abbott Middle School Community,
It is with great honor and excitement that I introduce myself, Rangel Hernandez-Fernandez, as the new Assistant Principal at Abbott Middle School. I feel very fortunate to join the administration team and I am so excited to be a part of this school to support the staff, students, and families.
I come to you with 16 years of experience as an educator in urban and suburban settings. My experiences have shaped me and have helped me see the social, academic, and behavioral development stages from kindergarten through the senior year of high school.
I moved to the Bay Area 12 years ago; I am originally from Oaxaca, Mexico y HABLO ESPANOL. I was raised in a traditional family that strongly valued education. I believe great things happen when educators and families come together to support students. Before becoming a school administrator, I served as a bilingual elementary school teacher, Spanish high school teacher, and middle school teacher. As an educator, I believe in creating a school culture with a focus on supporting both the social-emotional and academic development of students. In accepting this opportunity to serve as an Assistant Principal in the middle school setting here at Abbott, I carry on the commitment to serve as a role model and to demonstrate to our students that one’s character is reflected in the choices we make, and the choices we make impact our future. I strongly believe that doing what is best for children and their future is the promise one vows to continue serving in this noble profession; thus, I know we work collectively, with administrators, educators, families, and the community to share and act on that promise.
Rangel Hernandez Fernandez
Assistant Principal | Abbott Middle School
Fernando J. Figueroa is currently the Assistant Principal @ Abbott Middle School. Previously, he led the successful Spanish Immersion Program at the school. He has also served as a Teacher on Special Assignment for Data and Technology, training teachers and students in grades K-8 in technology and digital etiquette. He has taught for over 25 years in urban and rural schools. “El Maestro Figueroa” (as students and parents call him) holds a B.A. in Political Science and an M.A. from UC Berkeley in Education. He is also an alumnus of its Principal Leadership Institute.