Welcoming new principals and assistant principals

Welcoming new principals and assistant principals
The Mountain View Whisman School District is pleased to announce new principals and an assistant principal who will be taking the helm of several schools beginning July 1, 2018. These educational leaders have in total 46 years of administrative experience. Their backgrounds are diverse and dynamic with experience in both elementary, middle and high school levels across the U.S. and the world. They speak among them several additional languages, including Spanish and Hindi.

The parent and staff member focus groups held at Mistral, Graham and Theuerkauf informed the search process with qualities desired in the new leaders. We learned from these sessions that respect for diversity and inclusion is critical, as is a compassionate and student-centered approach to school leadership. The interview teams for Mistral, Graham and Theuerkauf consisted of parents, teachers and staff members who were impressed with each candidate and his/her qualifications. 

Michael HermosilloGraham Middle School Principal: Michael Hermosillo
Mr. Hermosillo is a bilingual (English-Spanish) administrator with extensive experience as a middle school principal, comprehensive high school principal, alternative education high school principal and director of student support services. He has served as the principal of Calaveras Hills High School and Thomas Russell Middle School (Milpitas Unified). He led his school through a rigorous Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) self study process that culminated with a six-year accreditation. He has also led the development and implementation of Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTI2) supports for targeted interventions at his schools.

He most recently worked in the Alameda County Office of Education’s Court Schools Program. He has also worked as an adjunct professor at National University, San Jose campus, and as a bilingual instructor. He earned a master’s degree from National University and a bachelor’s degree from Fresno Pacific College.

Ryan SantiagoGraham Middle School Assistant Principal: Ryan Santiago
Mr. Santiago has been the principal at Theuerkauf Elementary for three years. During his time there, the school received top ranking from Innovate Schools 2016 for serving low-income Hispanic students, the new RTI program was developed to extend, enrich, and intervene first instruction for students, and there was a 14% gain in math and 16% gain in English language arts test scores in the 2015-2016 school year, which was almost triple the state average.

Before becoming principal, he taught for five years in first and third grade at Theuerkauf and was an instructional coach at Theuerkauf, Monta Loma, Huff, and Landels for three years. He also taught at Peninsula Christian Schools (Redwood City). He has a master’s degree from San Francisco State University and a bachelor’s degree from San Jose State.

Heidi GalassiLandels Elementary Principal: Heidi Galassi
Ms. Galassi has worked at MVWSD since 2014; first as a middle school math teacher for two years, a math coach and then as an assistant principal at Graham Middle School. In the classroom, Ms. Galassi focused on implementing a blended learning platform, including small group instruction using technology-based learning as well as teacher-led, student directed learning.

She worked as a middle school math teacher in Community School District 200 (Wheaton, IL) for eight years, where she was honored with the 2012-13 Teacher of the Year award. She has a master’s degree from National Louis University and a bachelor’s degree from DePaul University.

Tabitha MillerMistral Elementary Principal: Tabitha Miller
Ms. Miller is a bilingual (English-Spanish), dual immersion educator from Collinswood Language Academy in Charlotte, N.C. where she served as a sixth-grade integrated science teacher, as well as a principal intern. She is a frequent professional development presenter, published author, and has experience in integrated technology and personalized learning. 

She has taught Spanish at East Mecklenburg High School, West Charlotte High School and Livingstone College, as well as students in all grades K-6 and 9-12. She is a recent fellow at the Charlotte Teachers Institute, and she earned a master’s degree from Florida State University and bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech. 

Principal of new school on N. Whisman Road: Michael O. Jones

Dr. Michael O. JonesCurrently, Dr. Jones will serve as the interim principal for Stevenson Elementary while Ms. Rebecca Westover is out on personal leave. He will also be providing oversight to the Independent Study Program, and work on other projects, as well as staffing and logistics for the new school, opening in 2019-20. Dr. Jones is a bilingual (English-Arabic) administrator who most recently served as the executive leader of a cluster of eight schools in the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Abu Dhabi, UAE). He was also the executive leader, through the SAME Foundation (Charlotte, NC), for the Young Black Leadership Alliance (YBLA) with high school students from more than 100 schools. He has led several schools as principal and assistant principal at Hopewell High, Garinger High, and Vance High (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Charlotte, NC), as well as worked at several schools as principal/assistant principal in Virginia. He has a doctorate of education degree from Gardner-Webb University, a master’s of education from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a bachelor’s degree from The College of William and Mary. 

Swati DagarTheuerkauf Elementary Principal: Swati Dagar
Ms. Dagar is a bilingual (English-Hindi) administrator who has served as a principal for Paradise Valley Engineering Academy (Morgan Hill Unified), where she led school redesign into an engineering-focused academy, including a new instructional program with the adoption of engineering/STEM focused curriculum. She also has worked as principal of Oak Avenue Elementary School (Greenfield Union) and Dean of Academic Affairs and teacher leader for James McEntee Academy (Alum Rock UnionElementary School District).

Ms. Dagar completed bachelor's and master's degrees in business administration in India, and has a teaching credential from San Jose State University. She is currently completing a Master’s in Education at National University. 

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