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Five Principals Exit South San Francisco District

Two veteran principals are retiring, while three others are taking new jobs.

When the school year ended last week, students and teachers at five South San Francisco schools had to say goodbye to their principals, who won't be returning next year.

The district is losing two veteran educators, Principal Beth Orofino of and , to retirement.

“You always get a little concerned when you are losing some of the veterans,” said Bob Thompson, assistant superintendent of personnel. “The people that are leaving have done some great things.”

With the baby boomers retiring, Thompson said it’s not unusual to have a few retirements each year.

Three other principals are taking new jobs, he said.

Principal Adele Berg will resign to coordinate the Regional Occupation Program for the San Mateo County Office of Education.

Rona Jawetz, principal of , is also leaving to take a county position, and Michael Coyne, principal of , is returning to the classroom, Thompson said.

He said it is odd to have this many principals leave at once.

“My guess is that they are moving into positions at County Office of Education where people are retiring too,” he said.

Thompson said the exodus of principals should not be seen as a sign that there is something wrong with the district.

“I think folks are just looking at opportunities,” he said. “It’s not an issue where people are saying, ‘gosh I need to go somewhere else.’”

So far, the district has only filled one of the vacant principal positions. Milissa Banister, a former assistant principal at , was hired as principal of Skyline Elementary School, Thompson said.

The district is also hiring for three assistant principal positions, two at El Camino High and one at .

The search for school leaders comes as the district . The district is also looking to replace Thompson, whose retirement is effective June 30.

Board President Maurice Goodman said Thompson’s retirement shouldn’t slow down the hiring process, and the goal is to have all principal positions filled by next school year.

“The challenge will just not be to fill their shoes but to rise to the expectations that our parents and community has to educate the kids,” Goodman said.

Although the perception is that the district is experiencing a high turnover rate, Goodman said there are just a lot of high profile people leaving.

“We can’t speak to why people make the decisions that they make,” he said. “All we can do is wish them well.”

Goodman said the district could fill the gap created by the vacancies by bringing talented and experienced individuals to lead the schools.

“This is a great opportunity for us to build our capacity as a district and increase the experience,” he said.

Charles June 09, 2011 at 04:34 AM
These Principals that are retiring and moving to County Office of Education is what you call "Double Dipping or Padded Pensions" ..... That's the real reason!
C June 09, 2011 at 05:05 AM
The two retiring principals are doing just that - retiring. The two who are going to the County Office of Ed resigned from the school district. Therefore, no "double dipping or padded pensions."
Maria C. Morales-Hernandez June 17, 2011 at 07:23 PM
I think everyone is forgetting an important fact here, which is our children! Forget the back stabbing, forget political differences and whose hiding what! What about our children's education? Let's focus on what we can do to fix the problem rather than blaming and pointing fingers! And as to acting Superintendent, Adolfo Malera--my hat goes off to him for keeping his cool and doing the best he can under all the problems that were left on him! Let's figure out a way of fixing the problem, does it really matter who is doing what to make it worse? Or whose fault it is? NO. In my opinion all the educators, adminatrators and the school board memebers (the people "in charge") get off your high horses and fix the problem! Stop with the insults and blames, do something about it. We all need to come together and work together so that our children may have a chance of a good education!
Francisco June 26, 2011 at 03:05 AM
According to the Colt Quarterly, El Camino's school newspaper, Ms. Berg is leaving because she disagrees with the new "one fits all" education standards. But who am I to speak, I just graduated last year.
Ahmad Jamil December 08, 2012 at 06:23 AM
Hello. Is Adolfo Melara a bad admistrator Heard he works at a charter school now Want information on him as I have relatives that go to that school

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