"Ms. Gomez knows the school, and she has solid relationships with parents, teachers and students," Rudolph said in the email.
Before Crittenden, Gomez previously served as a counselor and summer school administrator at JLS Middle School in Palo Alto and has worked in public education for the past 18 years, according to the email.
Gomez did not respond to the Voice's request for an interview.
The announcement comes less than two months after the previous principal, Angie Dillman, suddenly announced her resignation in June, citing a need to return to Southern California where she previously worked as a school administrator. Her tenure at Crittenden lasted two years.
District officials had originally aimed to advertise for the new principal position and have someone hired as a permanent replacement for Dillman by the end of July. But in late June, parents were told that the district had found "no viable candidates," and that Sonia Gomez would serve as the interim principal for an extended period of time.
Multiple members of district office staff did not respond to the Voice's questions on how long Gomez would serve as interim principal, and when the search for a permanent principal will start again.
With the assistant principal position now vacant, the district found a replacement for Gomez in Anthony Barajas, the former principal of St. John Vianney School, a private Catholic school in San Jose. Barajas previously served as assistant principal in two San Jose middle schools, and worked as a special education teacher and mentor for English-language learner students, according to the district's announcement. Barajas also began his new role on Aug. 1.
The school district has had a flurry of staffing changes over the last five years, with long-tenured principals retiring, administrators changing roles and, more recently, four principals being removed from their positions. In March, school board members voted unanimously in closed session to remove Landels Elementary School Principal Steve Chesley, Theuerkauf Elementary Principal Ryan Santiago, Mistral Elementary Principal Marcela Simoes de Carvalho and Graham Middle School Principal Kim Thompson.
Along with the late hires, district officials are planning to roll out a complete revamp of the middle school schedule, ditching the six-period school day in favor of a rolling schedule with eight periods, in order to accommodate more electives. Under the proposed changes, students would attend six of the eight classes each day using a so-called "cascading" schedule format, with 58-minute classes and three-minute passing periods.
When the school board announced it was removing Thompson from her position at Graham, parents raised concerns that the leadership changes could lead to a rocky transition to the new schedule along with other ambitious middle school initiatives, like the co-teaching model aimed at supporting special education students.
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