Danville Express

Newsfront - August 3, 2007

District names new principals

John Baldwin, Rancho Romero and Del Amigo will start classes under new leadership

Students, parents and staff members from four schools in the San Ramon Valley will greet new principals when they arrive for the first day of school Aug. 27. The San Ramon Valley Unified School District Board of Education recently announced the selection of the following four new principals:

* Darlene Hale, John Baldwin Elementary School

* Hope Burtner, Rancho Romero Elementary School

* Lucy Daggett, Del Amigo High School

* Michelle Cooper, Iron Horse Middle School

"I am excited to have the opportunity to work with such a skilled and enthusiastic group of school leaders," said Superintendent Rob Kessler.

Darlene Hale, the new principal at John Baldwin Elementary School in Danville, has 26 years of experience as a K-12 administrator and classroom teacher, as well as a college professor. She has been an elementary school principal since 2002 in the Oak Park and Conejo Valley unified school districts, and holds a masters degree in music education from California State University, Fullerton. Hale replaces Claudia Carbonell Bensley, who is working in the district's program for students learning English.

After several years as an assistant principal and administrative intern in Oakley and La Mesa, Hope Burtner takes over as principal at Rancho Romero Elementary School in Alamo. She replaces David Gold, who recently accepted a position in another district. Burtner received her administrative services credential and a masters degree in educational administration from Chapman University, and is currently working toward a doctorate degree in educational leadership from St. Mary's College in Moraga.

Del Amigo High School in Danville, the district's continuation high school, welcomes Lucy Daggett as its new principal, replacing Carol Adams, who moved to another school district. Daggett has been a guidance counselor in the Pittsburg Unified School District for 16 years. She holds an administrative credential from California State University, East Bay, and a masters degree in counseling leadership from St. Mary's College.

Michelle Cooper comes to Iron Horse Middle School in San Ramon after spending five years as principal at Diablo View Middle School in Clayton. She holds an administrative services credential and a masters degree in educational administration from Chapman University. Cooper replaces Kirby Hoy, who opened Iron Horse in 1996, and recently was appointed as a director of secondary education at the district level.

"They all have extensive experience in other school districts, and I am confident that all four of our schools will benefit greatly from their leadership," said Kessler.

The district received at least 20 completed applications for each position. The hiring process included application screening, reference checks and two sets of interviews that involved parents, teachers and other school and district staff.


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