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Koeppen departs Vallecitos for National School District

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Maritza Koeppen, who had been the Vallecitos School District superintendent and Vallecitos Elementary School principal since January 2018, has departed the Vallecitos School District.

Koeppen’s final day was Aug. 5. She resigned her Vallecitos position to become the assistant superintendent of human resources for the National School District which educates elementary school students in National City and Lincoln Acres.

“I’m definitely going to miss the community. They’ve been very good to me,” Koeppen said. She noted that she enjoyed working with the Vallecitos students, staff, families, and community members.

David Jones was the Vallecitos superintendent and school principal from 2011 until August 2017, when he was hired as the superintendent of the Bonsall Unified School District. Gary Wilson was the interim superintendent and principal with the Vallecitos district until Koeppen was hired and took the position. Wilson, who with the San Pasqual Union School District had been the superintendent and principal in a one-school district, will once again be the interim superintendent and principal until a longer-term replacement for Koeppen is selected.

The National School District has 10 elementary schools in National City and Lincoln Acres and also has a preschool center. It is a pre-kindergarten through sixth grade district and feeds into the Sweetwater Union High School District which also has middle schools.

Koeppen attended Bonita Vista High School, and she still lives in Bonita, so National City is closer to her than Rainbow. “It’s close to home and I have family who live in National City, so I’m happy to be able to serve the South Bay community,” she said.

Her family members in National City include grandparents, aunts, and uncles. Koeppen’s daughter is an incoming ninth-grader at Bonita Vista High School and her son is an incoming fourth-grader at Discovery Charter School in the Rancho Del Rey area of Chula Vista.

While Koeppen will miss the people at Vallecitos, she will no longer have the commute from Bonita to Rainbow. “It is definitely going to decrease for me,” she said.

There were some advantages of the trip to and from the Vallecitos district. “Sometimes it was my down time,” Koeppen said.

Koeppen had been an administrator with the San Marcos Unified School District before becoming the Vallecitos School District superintendent and Vallecitos Elementary School principal. “I’m very proud of our accomplishments over the last five years. It’s a real gem of a district,” she said of Vallecitos.

The accomplishments include physical improvements as well as grants and educational achievements. “We’ve done a lot of great facilities work,” she said. “A big accomplishment was getting the kids a playground.”

In 2019, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors allocated $125,000 of Neighborhood Reinvestment Program funding to the Vallecitos School District which allowed for fencing and an entry gate at Vallecitos Elementary School.

“One of the things I’m also really proud of is all of the partnerships that we created while I was there,” Koeppen said.

“I’m proud to have served the community, and I will miss everyone,” Koeppen said. “I just want to thank everyone for welcoming me to the community.”


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