Mon. Mar 27th, 2023

Another year, another new Principal at Santa Ana’s Valley High School.  But this time they finally hired a guy that might get the job done.  Patrick D.Yrarrazaval-Correa transferred to Valley from Carr Intermediate, where he had some success.  Now he is being tossed into quite a mess.

Yrarrazaval-Correa brought along many key members of his staff from Carr.  But when I tried to click on his name, and the names of his staff members, over at Valley’s website, I got nothing but dead links.  I hope that is not a precursor of things to come!

Yrarrazaval-Correa is also a member of the Santa Ana Planning Commission.  He is an affable sort and he likes to ride a Harley in his spare time.

Yrarrazaval-Correa’s predecessor at Valley, Felicity Swerdlow, resigned on April 12, kicking off a mass protest by students.  About 500 students ran amok when Swerdlow announced her resignation, according to the O.C. Register.  Why she left is a mystery, but I am told she was a first-time principal and she got tired of commuting from Pasadena.

Valley High School has a unique partnership with the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce, which has resulted in the creation of High School, Inc., and the implementation of seven Career Academies supporting high-growth industries in Santa Ana – Automotive & Transportation, Culinary Arts & Hospitality, Engineering & Construction, Global Business, Health Care, Manufacturing, and New Media.

But Valley, under Swerdlow, was ranked 63rd out of 65 high schools, according to the O.C. Register.  While the average graduate rate in Orange County is 81.7%, it is only 67.2% at Valley – with a dropout rate of 23.2%, according to the O.C. Register.  In Santa Ana, only Saddleback High has a lower graduation rate – 64.6%, but Valley has the highest dropout rate of any Santa Ana high school.

Will Yrarrazaval-Correa prevail?  I don’t know, but I do know that the SAUSD is in even more hot water – the millions they accepted in SIG (School Improvement Grants) back in April of last year are now in doubt as apparently SAUSD school administrators screwed up again – this time they failed to comply with parts of the SIG contract, according to an insider at the district.  I am told that SAUSD administrators are scrambling to produce enough school classroom hours to keep the SIG money.  Everything is on the table, including the possibility of working through the Spring Break.

Good luck to Yrarrazaval-Correa.  He will need it.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

17 thoughts on “Will Yrarrazaval-Correa succeed as Valley High School’s new Principal?”
  1. Valley High School is like the US Economy, it’s in the toilet. Mr. Patrick will not be able to fix it just like Obama is trying to fix the Economy. It is the people who will shift the economy just like it will take the students of Valley to shift the API upward and increase the graduation rate. Mr. Patrick ended up getting the short-end of the stuck rather than promoting him to another high school, he got the sloppy seconds. I have to agree with the author, good luck! I hope this doesn’t end your career. You may want to follow Jane Russo!

  2. You kow what you people can say what you want but all I know is that everything is going to be alright. Mr. Patrick is doing a good job so far adimistration is great this year. So watchout cause you people are going to see us kick some booty. So keep talking smack about my fifty-two year old school because the years will be adding on.

  3. sausd educator you obviously don`t know what`s going on at valley because you don`t have your facts right,valley is the best school as an educator should be supporting every school but obviously you cant do that.Its true we miss mrs.swerlow but we are trying to make it better but by you saying that its just rude,disrespectful and just mind your own business.thank you AND we are not in the toilet YOU are!!!!

  4. Thanks!!! For everyone who supports my beutiful school. I can promise any big changesut i promise i will try to do good in all my classes and kee my beutiful school spirited and involved in all activities going on. I will try to keep on having a great big beutiful tomorrow at Valley High School. Thanks again to those who support my beutiful school. Good to know there still people who care about public education. Thanks very much.

  5. Admin,

    How many of these students who are posting are more likely to be illegals? Valley has one of the highest drop-out rate in California next to LAUSD. Tax payers are tired of having to support gang bangers and illegals in schools. I agree with SAUSD Educator, not only SAUSD is in the toilet but the entire immigration system is the toilet as well. Illegals receiving diplomas, they might as well use it as toilet paper because without legal proof to work in the US, the diploma means nothing! By the all of you students, post your previous CST test scores and grades, then we’ll talk!

  6. Ohh Please dont tell me that you are not an immigrant we all are. cause we all have roots from somewhere we just don’t appear out of nowhere in a certain place we of course have caring parents and grandparents even ancestors who came here for a better life so yeah. Keep on talkig. because were are all imported thats what keeps this nation running.

  7. Dear Anon,
    At leat have the courage to say your real name but here
    We have alot of succeesful people that attended Valley High School here is som:Notable Alumni

    Dan Griset

    Mayor, Santa Ana

    Ed Carouthers

    1968 Olympic Silver Medalist, High Jump

    Rick Walker

    NFL Washington Redskins

    Super Bowl Champions

    Lou Saunders

    Actor/Author “Chips”

    Gary Templeton

    MLB San Diego Padres

    Myron White

    MLB LA Dodgers

    Karl Denson, Saxophone

    Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe & Grey Boy All-Stars

    Melvin Davis, Bassist

    Pointer Sisters +

    Wing Brothers: Musicians

    Albert, Saxophone

    Gene, Trumpet

    Gary, Drums

    Bordeaux Brothers:

    Derek & Byron


    VJ Lovero, deceased

    former staff photographer of

    Angels and Anaheim Ducks



    And there will more to come from my Generationj so expect big from us.

  8. Hey VHS Student,

    You forgot to mention that everyone that you listed are not illegal aliens. I rest my case. By the way, when you take your high school exit exam, make sure that you bubble in 2 for 1 + 1; ok. There, you got the first math problem right.

    1. Excuse me. I randomly ended up on this page and I read your comment and thought “Wow! This person is crazy!”. I graduated from Valley High School under the principalship of Mr. Patrick and I am now a student at UC Berkeley. You can never make it into a school like UC Berkeley so why are you putting down a high school that has sent multiple kids to UC Berkeley, UCLA, UCSD, etc.? You will never make it into a school such as these. So take your witty comments back with you along with your basic college diploma (probably from a basic school like CSUF or something). Have a nice day!

  9. Dear Anon,

    you clearly dont know us and understand us valley will succeed and you know it. and yes i am illegal so what.

  10. From what I hear Patrick is already failing. The school for many years was finally doing well under Swerdlow, but now with Patrick, its going down again. Patrick seems to only concentrate on academics, which I believe is great and important. However, he ignores students opinion and treats them as ignorant individuals. Of course, they’re not the smartest students in the world, but we must remember what type of community these students were raised in, not the best. Many just want attention and respect, for which they do not receive from Patrick and his new administration. I’ve heard sooo many negative things about the new freshmen class under Patrick’s new year. Watch out Patrick. LOL. We’ll just wait and see the scores.

    Oh, and please stop with the racist comments about illegals and blah blah. No race is perfect. just look how America is becoming, doesn’t show much good things about the legals does it and do blame ur problems on illegals. Oh and if you are so preoccupied about your tax money not being spent right, tell those corporations who were bailed out. Remember that this country became great once education became free. Education is what made this country great. Unfortunately the system has not adapted and is failing like our government.. Next time make sure who you vote

  11. Admin,

    You are right, he’s a limo liberal! He thinks he knows everything. He railroaded staff at Carr. He talked negative about parents and teachers. He needs to work on his Spanish! Wait, he thinks he speaks perfect Spanish. Always in tunnel vision with school issues, my way or the high way attitude. This guy has more weaknesses than strengths. However, I will say, let’s see the API scores in August.

  12. I just read all the comments, and I am absolutely taken aback. To the commenters posting negative comments: I bet that your remarks are based on the Valley High from 10 years ago. Ever since Mr. Patrick became principal here, there has been nothing but improvements, not only in academics but in an overall perspective. I’m on track to attend a prestigious east coast university. And besides, looking at the statistics from the so called “good high schools” (Godinez and Segerstrom), they have almost the same amount of aliens. Think before you speak/state something.

  13. Art,

    Came across this old article. To your your headline question, NO, he didn’t succeed at Hell Valley High School! He lost his principalship because he’s ignorant! From what I gathered, he had a feud and well…the rest is his history! Who will be the next bold principal with actual ideas and morals!

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