JUNE 30, 2015: Superintendent Geoff Yantz announced that South Pasadena Unified School District hired three Assistant Principals, one for each of the elementary schools. “During the 2014-2015 school year one resonating theme that I have heard from parents, teachers, support staff, and administrators is the overwhelming demand that has been placed on the elementary administration and staff due to increased enrollment and program changes over the last few years. Adding assistant principals at the elementary level will support on-going safety efforts and school culture, provide support in responding to student, parent and employee needs, and allow the principals to have additional opportunities to serve as curriculum leaders at the respective schools and in the District,” Yantz stated. The new entry-level administrative positions will also provide leadership development for those interested in pursuing a career in administration. The District will fund the positions by the reduction of four curriculum and administrative positions which will result in an overall cost savings.
The recruitment and interview process began shortly before Spring Break. The principals and a committee of site representatives interviewed candidates from an initial pool of 89 candidates. “It was important to have site representation for each elementary school so that the flavor and the culture of the school could be taken into consideration,” said Karen Reed, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources. The final candidates were interviewed by Dr. Yantz and members of the Executive Cabinet – the Assistant Superintendents of Business Services, Human Resources, Instructional Services, and the Executive Director of Student Support Services - and the three elementary school principals.
The selected candidates for each site are:
Lindsey Roach – Arroyo Vista. Ms. Roach served as an Assistant Principal at Leona Cox Community School in Sulphur Springs School District. She has ten years of teaching experience. In addition to her elementary teaching experience, Ms. Roach also worked with special education students through her employment with The Almansor Center as a transition-based high school teacher, as well as special populations of students, including students with learning disabilities, English language learners, and GATE. Ms. Roach has a Bachelor’s degree in Child Development, two Master’s degrees – Cross-Cultural Teaching and Educational Administration – and is completing her Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership.
Katy Nielsen – Marengo. Mrs. Nielsen is a familiar face to South Pasadena Unified School District, as she is the current Director of Preschool and the Coordinator for the District Dual Immersion Program. She has been an elementary school teacher at Arroyo Vista and Marengo, and also served as an Administrator on Special Assignment, assuming the responsibilities of an Assistant Principal at all three elementary school sites. In addition, Mrs. Nielsen serves on the District’s negotiating team. Mrs. Nielsen has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Child Development.
Jessica Zavala – Monterey Hills. Ms. Zavala comes from Glendale Unified, where she has worked for the past eleven years, most recently serving as Teacher Specialist at Franklin Magnet School. In that role, Ms. Zavala served on the School Site Council assisting in the development of the Single Plan for Student Achievement. She also served on the English Language Advisory Committee, as well as a member of the District Common Core Committee where she acted as liaison to plan and present professional development to teachers district-wide. Ms. Zavala has taught at the elementary and middle school level. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts, an Administrative Services Credential and BCLAD Authorization in Spanish, and a Master’s degree in Educational Administration.
The three Assistant Principals will start their new positions on August 1, 2015.