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Dougherty Valley High principal appointed as district's facilities director

Hillman to stay at DVHS until replacement named

Dougherty Valley High School principal Daniel Hillman is moving to the district office after nearly three years leading the east San Ramon campus, with the school board selecting him Monday to become the district's new director of facilities-construction.

The search for a new principal is underway, and Hillman will remain at Dougherty Valley High until a successor is in place, according to district officials.

In an email to parents and staff Tuesday, Hillman said he was transitioning to the district office "with incredibly mixed emotions."

"I am excited about the opportunities this new position will provide me both professionally and personally. I make this transition leaving truly the best job I've ever had," wrote Hillman, who has been principal since September 2013.

"This is hands down the best group of professional educators I have ever had the pleasure of working alongside," he added. "The Dougherty Valley community is a special group of people made up of spirited students and dedicated parents. I have never served a community that had all of these elements in place at the same time. It is an experience that I will cherish forever."

The announcement of Hillman's pending departure came with students in the middle of their third week of classes in the new school year.

"I am confident that the district and school initiatives that kicked off this school year will continue to be the focus for the school throughout the rest of the year," he said. "I will miss many things about being the principal of DVHS, but I leave knowing that the school and the community are under the best care possible."

The district has started the search for Dougherty Valley's next principal, and the process will include soliciting input from staff, parents and community stakeholders in person and via an online survey, San Ramon Valley schools superintendent Rich Schmitt said

"We will ask you to share the qualities that you would like in your next principal," Schmitt said in an email to Dougherty Valley parents and staff Tuesday. "Dougherty Valley High School is an excellent school, and I am confident the position will attract a number of strong candidates."

The school board appointed Hillman to director of facilities-construction during a special meeting Monday morning in Danville. He replaces Rich Lowell, who left the district this month after 10 years as facilities director to become the new director of facilities and construction for the Lafayette School District.

Hillman's new role includes revising and implementing the district's facilities master plan, organizing construction and financing of school facilities, coordinating the work of consultants, building inspectors and contractors, and supervising construction staff, among other duties, according to the position's job description.

Dougherty Valley now finds itself looking for its third principal in three years.

Hillman, who had been assistant principal since the summer of 2012, stepped into the principal's office on a temporary basis Sept. 25, 2013, with the school board naming him interim principal while they searched for a permanent replacement for outgoing headman Jason Reimann -- who joined the district's educational services department.

The board removed Hillman's interim tag at Dougherty Valley in November 2013.

"I would like to thank you for the opportunity to serve this community," he told parents and staff Tuesday. "It has truly been my honor to be your principal, and I wish you all the very best in the months and years to come. Go Wildcats."

Raised in Fremont, Hillman graduated from American High School and attended De Anza College before completing his bachelor's degree in political science at the University of California, Davis. He later earned a master's degree in educational leadership from Cal State East Bay and completed school business manager certification at USC, according to district officials

His education career began as a teacher at San Ramon Valley High School in 2002, where he taught economics, philosophy and world history. He then taught at Miramonte High School in Orinda before shifting to an administrative role with the San Leandro Unified School District, managing two grant programs.

Hillman later worked as assistant principal at San Leandro High School and Alhambra High School in Martinez and then moved to the Martinez Unified School District to oversee its general obligation bond program before returning to the San Ramon Valley in 2012.

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