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New principals named at Disney, Stevenson elementary schools

Two Burbank elementary schools will ring in the next school year in August with new principals, who were announced during the Burbank Unified school board meeting Thursday evening.

Christina Desiderio will take the helm at Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary, following the retirement of the school’s former principal, Debbie Ginnetti.

Desiderio has been an educator with teaching and administrator experience tracing back to 1987 when she became teacher in the Los Angeles Unified school district. She was most recently principal at Yerba Buena Elementary School in the Las Virgenes Unified school district.

“Under Ms. Desiderio’s leadership, Yerba Buena has emerged as a model school,” said Burbank’s director of elementary education, Peter Knapik.


Desiderio said she wouldn’t want to work in any other district but Burbank.

“I’ve done my homework. I know the amazing principal [at Stevenson] is going to be big shoes to fill, and I’m really excited to be able to do that. I absolutely love what I do. I love working with children. I love teachers. I’m always a teacher at heart.”

Walt Disney Elementary will gain Molly Hwang as its principal with the departure of Melissa Kistler, who is leaving Burbank Unified for a role in another school district.

Hwang began her education career in 1997 as a teacher at Washington Elementary School in Burbank, and has also worked at Burbank Adult School as well as Joaquin Miller and William McKinley elementary schools.


For six years, from 2005 to 2011 she worked initially as a teacher, then as a curriculum specialist at Disney Elementary.

“The instructional and interpersonal knowledge I have gained has prepared me to increase student achievement, provide professional learning and build positive relationships in assisting each individual child reaching his or her fullest potential,” she said.