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Ravenswood appoints new principals for 2019-20 school year

District could face more leadership shuffles ahead

The Ravenswood City School District Board of Education approved new leaders for two schools on Thursday, while other principals remain in interim district-level roles through the summer.

The fledgling Ravenswood Middle School, which suddenly lost its opening principal and vice principal last summer, will be led effective Aug. 1 by Amanda Kemp, the former principal of both Belle Haven Elementary School and Los Robles-Ronald McNair Academy. Kemp was moved to Belle Haven in 2018 to replace former principal Todd Gaviglio, whose mid-year transfer to the district office drew protest from parents and teachers and led to an external discrimination investigation. Kemp will be the third principal for Ravenswood Middle School, which will be starting its third year this fall.

The board narrowly approved Kemp's appointment, with board President Tamara Sobomehin, Vice President Stephanie Fitch and trustee Marielena Gaona-Mendoza voting in favor and trustees Sharifa Wilson and Ana Maria Pulido against it.

The district has not yet announced a new principal for Belle Haven.

The trustees unanimously approved Ravenswood Middle School teacher David Hicks as the school's new vice principal, effective April 29.

They also unanimously approved Alejandro Quezada, Ravenswood's STEM coordinator, as the new principal of Los Robles-Ronald McNair Academy, effective Aug. 1. (This was a 4-0 vote, as Pulido was absent during this item.)

Two other schools, Willow Oaks and Brentwood Academy, remain under interim leadership while their principals fill temporary positions at the district office until June 30. Brentwood Principal Jennifer Gravem is serving as the interim director of special education and Willow Oaks Principal Cindy Chin as interim director of student services. Director of Student Services Gina Sudaria is still Ravenswood's interim superintendent; the board has yet to announce details on its plan for hiring a permanent replacement for Gloria Hernandez-Goff, who resigned in March.

The board voted in March to appoint Willow Oaks Vice Principal Michelle Masuda as interim principal there and Brentwood Vice Principal Darice Thomas as Brentwood's, both through June 30.

Meanwhile, there could be more district-level leadership shuffles ahead. To address a tight budget, the board approved last month notices of possible reassignment for 19 certificated administrators. The board can rescind these notices if necessary.

According to the district, the positions that received notices are vice principals, principals, director of student services, coordinator of integrated services, coordinator of English Language Arts/English Language Development, director of curriculum and instruction, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, coordinator of data and assessment, integrated services program specialist and STEM coordinators.

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