Westover led Stevenson, the district's parent participation choice program, for three years, and previously was assistant principal of Jordan Middle School in Palo Alto. She has a bachelor's degree with a minor in economics and a master's degree from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, and received a doctorate in education at the University of La Verne.
Replacing Westover will be Ryan Santiago, currently an assistant principal at Graham Middle School. He was "reassigned" to the position by the board in March 2018 after working for three years as principal of Theuerkauf Elementary School. During his short stint at Graham, Santiago was responsible for leading the sixth grade class of students and was the primary contact for after-school programs, according to a statement by Superintendent Ayinde Rudolph.
Replacing Santiago in the assistant principal position at Graham will be Mariko Kobata, the district's special education coordinator. Her tenure in the district spans 17 years with roots as a special education teacher at Graham and Huff Elementary School.
Though not yet opened, the district's newest school — Jose Antonio Vargas Elementary — also experienced turnover. Last week, Vargas Principal Michael Jones announced he had to resign from the role, citing a need for more "flexibility" to travel from the U.S. to the United Arab Emirates, where his family resides. He said completing his family's immigration into the U.S. is an ongoing process that will continue over the next year.
Replacing Jones will be Vern Taylor, also an assistant principal at Graham Middle School, who spent less than two years in the role before he was named the new principal of Vargas on May 31. Taylor had been a Castro Elementary School teacher and an instructional coach in the district before his promotion to assistant principal in October 2017.
Rudolph announced in April that Huff Elementary has a new principal in Miguel Espinoza, who will be moving to the Bay Area from Stanislaus County after working for three years as principal of Josephine Chrysler Elementary School. Espinoza does have Bay Area roots — before moving to the Central Valley, Espinoza was the academic dean and assistant principal at the Ravenswood City School District, working with Spanish-language dual immersion students and schools with a high concentration of low-income students.
Espinoza replaces Geoff Chang, who has been the Huff principal since 2016 and plans to take a leave of absence for "personal reasons" starting on June 30. Espinoza was chosen for his "varied" experience and his community-building capabilities, which Rudolph said is particularly important with school attendance boundaries changing in the 2019-20 school year.
"With Huff undergoing a shift in enrollment, I think that this is an important attribute," Rudolph said. "I am confident that Miguel will continue the work of Mr. Chang, and help Huff soar to greater heights."
Around the same time last year, the school board voted to remove and reassign four principals at Graham Middle School and Mistral, Theuerkauf and Landels elementary schools.
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