Longtime Laguna Hills High Principal Bill Hinds dies at 54

profile photo
By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Laguna Hills High School Principal William “Bill” Herbert Hinds III was honored as an educational leader during the school’s graduation ceremony on Thursday evening, May 30.

Nearly two weeks earlier, on May 18, the Trabuco Canyon resident died. He was 54.

For the last 29 years, Hinds has served the Saddleback Valley Unified School District community. Throughout his tenure with the district, he worked as a middle school history teacher, activity director, assistant principal at Mission Viejo High School and middle school principal at Los Alisos Intermediate.

And for the last nine years, Hinds has been the principal at Laguna Hills High School.

“He always had a plan A, plan B and a plan C because he simply would not take no for an answer when fighting for what was best for our students,” Chelsea Maxwell, Laguna Hills’ activity director, said during the graduation ceremony.

Before his time with the district, Hinds was an SVUSD graduate himself, completing his high school education at Mission Viejo High School in 1988. Hinds studied history at San Diego State University, according to his obituary.

“In addition to making Laguna Hills High School a top-tier educational institution, he prided himself on creating an environment where students felt safe and cared for from the moment they stepped onto campus for freshman orientation to the day they put on their graduation gowns to walk across this stage,” Maxwell said.

Hinds’ “hard work, determination and persistence carved the way for the Hawk family to grow and to flourish,” said Maxwell.

Hinds was born in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, in 1970, according to his obituary, and his favorite things were camping, spending time with his family in Big Sur and surfing in San Onofre. He is survived by his two children and their mother, his siblings and his mom.

“He loved planning adventures, reading crime fiction books, and cooking family dinners on the weekends,” his obituary said.

In a statement following Hinds’ death, SVUSD Superintendent Crystal Turner said, “There are no words to describe the shock and heartbreak reverberating within the Laguna Hills High School and SVUSD community at this unfathomable news.”

“This is a time for us to come together as a community, to care for each other and to support each other through our grief,” Turner said.

Since Hinds’ passing, Laguna Hills High has provided support services for staff and students if needed.

Dan Sullivan, an SVUSD school administrator, has been selected as the interim principal, Turner said.

author photo
About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.