COSTA MESA / NEWPORT BEACH : School Board to Vote on 3 New Principals

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District this summer has had to do something extraordinary--find principals to run three of its four high schools.

Three principal-hopefuls will be introduced Tuesday night to the community and the Board of Education, which is scheduled to vote on hiring them.

"It is pretty revolutionary to have (to hire) three out of four high school principals in the district" at one time, said Supt. Mac Bernd, adding that officials had hoped to have the slots filled before the school year starts in August.

Top district officials last week narrowed the field of candidates to the three who will come before the board Tuesday.

The names of the candidates were withheld by Bernd because they have not signed contracts yet and have not been hired.

The Newport-Mesa district has conducted separate searches this summer to replace the outgoing school administrators: Tom Jacobson, who was promoted to district director of secondary education from the top post at Corona del Mar High School; Frank Infusino, who left Estancia High School to become assistant superintendent at the Silver Valley School District near Barstow, and Steve Pavich, who left Newport Harbor High School to become principal at Sonora Elementary School.

In another development, school officials announced that Hazel Rojas, former principal at Adams Elementary School in Costa Mesa, who was supposed to take over at the Kaiser Primary Center, is leaving the district to become principal at a Long Beach elementary school.

A search to replace Rojas will begin once a search committee is formed, which will include parents, Kaiser teachers and classified staff.

Bernd expects the district will be able to find a new principal before the start of the school year.

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