Simone Rick-Kennel will head M-A in new school year


Simone Rick-Kennel, until recently an administrative vice-principal at Menlo-Atherton High School in Atherton, will take over as principal when the 2015-16 school year begins on July 1.

Ms. Rick-Kennel had been serving as interim co-principal with Matthew Zito since January 2015. The announcement of her appointment came in an April 16 letter to the M-A community from Superintendent James Lianides of the Sequoia Union High School District.

Simone Rick-Kennel
Mr. Zito has been splitting his time between M-A and the district as its new chief facilities officer. He is overseeing the first phase of planning and development of new facilities on the district's five campuses, which includes plans for two small high schools, one to be located at 150 Jefferson Drive in Menlo Park.

In light of Mr. Zito's full plate, Ms. Rick-Kennel will be taking on an increased day-to-day role in leading M-A, Mr. Lianides said.

The Sequoia district's governing board unanimously approved the appointment of Ms. Rick-Kennel on April 15, Mr. Lianides said.

The district used an outside recruiting firm that consulted staff and the community while also recruiting candidates, he said. "It is a testament to the experiences and qualities that Simone will bring to a key leadership position that she emerged from the hiring process as the top candidate," he said.

Ms. Rick-Kennel was appointed administrative vice-principal at M-A in 2008 after having been a special education teacher at M-A since 2002. She was appointed dean of students in 2007.

She began her career in special education in the South San Francisco Unified School District, Mr. Lianides said.

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