New Principals for Two Elementary Schools

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Students at Andersen Elementary School will be seeing a new face in the principal’s office this school year.

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District announced Monday that Superintendent Fred Navarro appointed Dr. Shannon Bray to take over the top spot at Andersen.

Bray is excited to begin immediately and introduce herself to the school and the community, district spokeswoman Laura Boss wrote in a statement.

The board still needs to officially approve the appointment and, due to the summer schedule, they won’t meet until Aug. 28.

Bray has spent the last nine years in the Clovis Unified School District.

“Dr. Bray has exemplary recommendations, motivation, enthusiasm, and a strong work ethic,” Boss wrote. “She has a proven track record of creating systems of instructional support and learning for staff that result in significant academic growth for students.”

“During her tenure as principal of Maple Creek Elementary School, the school’s API grew from 923 to 945, making it the top performer in the school district,” according to the district statement.

A new principal has also been hired for Kaiser Elementary in Costa Mesa. Dr. Deborah Granger joins Kaiser after 14 years of K-12 administrative experience, the last 12 as coordinator of instructional services for the Orange County Department of Education.

The two new principals replace husband and wife Gerald, from Kaiser, and Laura Vlasic, who announced their plans in late June to leave at the end of the 2011-12 school year.

The district recruited candidates, gathered community input and conducted interviews by a panel of district, employee, and parent representatives. Final interviews were held the week of July 16.

Bray will begin at Andersen on Aug. 8 and Granger will begin at Kaiser on Aug. 13.

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