Julie Hatchel is heading to the Top of the World — elementary school, that is.
The Laguna Beach Unified School District announced Friday that Hatchel will be the new principal at Top of the World Elementary at 21601 Treetop Lane. The board of trustees appointed her at its meeting Thursday.
Hatchel, currently the principal of Deerfield Elementary School in Irvine, will assume her new role April 20.
She will replace Top of the World’s previous principal, Michael Conlon, who became district director of human resources in September.
The district plans to hold a meet-and-greet for Hatchel in April.
Hatchel has more than 20 years’ experience as an educational administrator and earned a doctorate in education leadership at Cal State Fullerton.
Laguna Beach district staff said she has “a proven track record of furthering student success and well-being through collaboration with teachers, staff, students and families.”
“I am honored and excited to join the team at Top of the World Elementary,” Hatchel said in a statement. “I look forward to supporting the important work of the staff and community in continuing to provide an outstanding education for our students.”
Hatchel was one of 16 candidates chosen for initial interviews and was among six to be interviewed separately by parents, teachers, support staff and administrators. Three went on to be interviewed by district Supt. Jason Viloria and other district leaders, according to a news release.
“Through the screening and interview process, Dr. Hatchel demonstrated that she is a dedicated, reflective and collaborative leader,” Viloria said. “We are excited to have her bring her diverse experiences and leadership skills to our district, where I know she will continue to work with the school community to support student achievement.”
The Irvine Unified School District did not immediately respond to a request for comment.