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FUESD reorganizes principals' assignments

Under the new district organizational plan prepared by the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District (FUESD), parents may find new principals and administrative staff overseeing their children’s schools in the 2010-2011 academic school year.

In a March 25 letter from FUESD superintendent Brian Jacobs, parents were informed that all in-town schools will become K-6 schools and that district changes would include:

• Diane McClelland will be principal of the Maie Ellis site that is a combination of Maie Ellis and Fallbrook Street School.

• Lilly Perez will be principal of Live Oak Elementary.

• Dr. Andres Santamaria will be principal of William H. Frazier.

• Lea Curcio will be principal of La Paloma Elementary.

• Tom Rhine will be principal of Iowa Street School, which will move to the physical site formerly known as Fallbrook Street School and will expand to include grades seven and eight.

• Santa Margarita Academy will move to the Iowa Street School's current physical site.

• Wendy Hill will be principal of Mary Fay Pendleton, which will have a self-contained grade seven.

• Leonard Rodriguez will be principal of Potter Jr. High.

• Bill Billingsley will be principal of San Onofre School.

According to Jacobs, the changes were made “to ensure the continuance of our current strong educational reputation, while also looking to institute new educational options.”

“I recognize that this means a 'shake-up' for many

,” said Jacobs in the letter to parents. According to the letter, this reorganization addressees $517,000 of the $1.2 to $1.4 million budget deficit in the district.

“Any time an organization goes through a reduction of services because of budget reductions, or reorganization, employment decisions are very difficult and trying,” said Jacobs. “When the District began the process of reorganization, it was clearly noted that staffing reductions for teachers, classified and administration would be taking place. The decision to have to reduce any staff is not taken lightly, and as the instructional leader of the district, I went through a very deliberate and challenging process leading to a recommendation to the Governing Board for the reduction of all staff.”

According to Jacobs, a “reduction in service” was made by replacing Dr. Tere Peterson, the Potter Jr. High principal, with Rodriguez.

“With the merging of two schools, one less principal position was needed,” said Jacobs, who said the outcome of an annual performance evaluation, which is administered to all district personnel, was only a “tool” to help the selection.

“It has been, and will continue to be, my goal to work with everyone to make this transition as seamless as possible,” said Jacobs. “I know we have the people in the District to make the challenges that lie ahead the most efficient and highly organized for our students and you as parents. Through this organizational change, we have the chance to enhance our educational options for all students and continue to meet the achievement marks that we all desire for all of our children.”

To view the 2010-2011 school year draft boundaries for the Fallbrook Elementary School District, go to

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