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San Ramon school administrator named frontrunner for Pleasanton principal spot

Superintendent recommending Gale Ranch's Munsell to his school board

Pleasanton school officials announced late Wednesday afternoon that Robin Munsell, assistant principal at San Ramon's Gale Ranch Middle School, is their recommended candidate to fill a principal position that is opening up in their district with a first-year principal's abrupt resignation.

The Pleasanton Unified School District's board is set to discuss Munsell's candidacy during its regular meeting next Tuesday, according to PUSD superintendent Rick Rubino.

The pending vacancy at Pleasanton's Harvest Park Middle School was revealed Wednesday afternoon.

Ethan Cheever, who took over as Harvest Park principal at the start of this school year, announced in an email to school staff and parents that he would be stepping down effective Sept. 30 after accepting another position nearer to home and family. He did not specify what his new job is.

"It was an incredibly difficult decision, but I wanted to let you know that I have accepted a position closer to home and family," Cheever said in the email. "While I have loved my time at the site, my position and the demands thereof have been very hard on my family much more so than was anticipated."

Cheever added that while he will miss the Harvest Park community, being closer to home will allow him to spend more time with his family.

"I have learned a lot during my time here, especially about the Pleasanton community," Cheever said. "I am very thankful to those that have helped and supported me, and I will do everything I can to support my successor to make a smooth and easy transition."

In a press release late Wednesday afternoon, the Pleasanton superintendent said that he would recommend Munsell to become the new Harvest Park principal to the school board when it meets Tuesday night.

Munsell has spent the last four years as a Gale Ranch assistant principal.

"We have thoroughly vetted Robin Munsell through a rigorous interview process that included staff and parents from the Harvest Park Middle School community, as well as through a finalist interview with the superintendent's cabinet," Rubino said. "We firmly believe that Robin Munsell will bring a strong background in instructional leadership to Harvest Park Middle School."

In San Ramon, Munsell has led staff professional development around Common Core standards, technology and culturally responsive instruction techniques, according to PUSD. She has also led professional development on Common Core implementation as a member of the California Teachers Association and Stanford University's Instructional Leadership Corps.

Before coming to San Ramon, Munsell spent seven years as an English teacher in Castro Valley. She holds a Master of Arts in educational leadership.

Cheever was named the new Harvest Park principal at a school board meeting in June, one of four new principals in the district this school year. Prior to taking the job in Pleasanton, he served as the principal of Parkside Intermediate School in San Bruno.

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