The superintendent of the Ravenswood City School District has proposed an internal shuffling of school leadership that will result in new principals at three schools next year.
Superintendent Gloria Hernandez-Goff announced last week her recommendations for new principals at Belle Haven Community School, Willow Oaks School and the district's new Ravenswood Middle School. The appointments are subject to approval by the Board of Education.
"Focusing on our students, I have given careful thought to the administrative team to lead our schools to continuing improvement through challenging times," Hernandez-Goff wrote. "In doing so, I want to make very clear that the future of our district only gets stronger and stronger by the day, and this team of principals is committed to our growth and success of our students."
Hernandez-Goff is recommending Amanda Kemp, currently principal at Ronald McNair Academy, move to Belle Haven. Kemp is set to replace Principal Todd Gaviglio, whose recent mid-year transfer from Belle Haven to the district office has drawn protest from parents and teachers. Gaviglio has been reassigned to help the district with a federal program review.
After just one year at the helm of the district's new comprehensive middle school, Hernandez-Goff is proposing Ravenswood Middle School Principal Doug Garris move to Willow Oaks, where he would replace Principal Cynthia Chin. Chin is being considered for a position in student services at the district office.
Ravenswood Middle School Vice Principal Annaben Kazemi would then become principal at the middle school.
Garris' proposed appointment to Willow Oaks has been met with opposition from teachers and staff members at the school who signed a letter asking Hernandez-Goff and the board to instead promote Vice Principal Michelle Masuda. The letter describes Masuda's "tireless" efforts over the last three years to create a positive culture at the school.
"Looking to our future, as Willow transitions to a K-5 school, a principal with firsthand experience and knowledge of elementary school curriculum and effective elementary methodologies is crucial to help us deepen our instructional practice," the staff wrote.
In Hernandez-Goff's announcement, she emphasized the appointments as critical to the future of the long-underperforming district, which she was tasked with turning around when she was hired five years ago.
"Change is never an easy process, but you have risen to the occasion because you understand that what is at stake is the future of the children of the Ravenswood City School District," she wrote to staff.