Meet the new principals of Newport-Mesa schools

Local schools welcomed in some new faces this fall.

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District hired five new principals — four elementary, one middle school — to take over as their predecessors were promoted, retired and moved out of state last year.

With kids heading back to school Tuesday, here is a look at the newest heads of California Elementary, Pomona Elementary, Killybrooke Elementary, Newport Heights Elementary and Ensign Intermediate schools.

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Matt Broesamle, California Elementary School

The Costa Mesa native didn't know what he wanted to do after college.

With a bachelor's in business and a job coaching baseball lined up after graduation, Broesamle found a job at Andersen Elementary School in Newport Beach as a K-6 instructional aide.

But what started as a job to fill in the morning hours turned into more.

"I enjoyed working with those kids," he said.

His time at Andersen lead him to get his teaching credential and eventually to work his way up from substitute to teacher.

Now Broesamle is about to start his first year as principal of California Elementary — a move he sees as helping make a larger impact.

"I think I can affect more kids," he said. "Just in teaching you work with the 30 kids that come in your class. At a grade level you might get to 90 kids in a school year, but as a leader, as an instructional leader, as a principal, you can really work with the whole entire student body."

"You can affect, and positively affect, so many more kids, and that's why I wanted to take the job."

Broesamle's goal for his first year at the Costa Mesa campus is to get out in the community and build relationships. He said he wants to be visible and accessible to parents — and out on the playground.

"My goal for this year is — just in talks with teachers and even some of the parents in the community — really building a community feel around the school," he said.

One challenge will be learning every student's name at California Elementary. It's a lot more names than when he was a teacher.

"First day of school, I can remember 28 kids in my classroom no problem," he said. "I don't know if I can memorize 415 the first day of school."

Hobbies: Golfing, spending time with his wife and two sons

Favorite Book: "Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action" by Simon Sinek

Trivia: Played baseball during high school and college

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Megan Elsten Brown, Pomona Elementary

Brown, 38, wanted to be bilingual. So she went to Ecuador for a year.

"I really love being able to speak two languages," she said. "I think it's a great skill, a great gift to have. You can't really communicate with someone through translation. It just opens up a whole new world."

The Costa Mesa native also lived in Guatemala to take Spanish classes and before moving to Ecuador to teach junior high and high school.

Brown didn't decide to go into education, though, until her last year at UCLA. While doing an internship at the UCLA Lab School, she worked on a dual-immersion bilingual program, where native Spanish speakers and native English speakers became bilingual together.

The program really caught the interest of the English major.

"I liked how it drew on the strengths of California having that bilingual society," she said, "that strength we have in California that we're not really capitalizing on."

Brown started at Newport-Mesa Unified in 2005 and held a number of different positions before being made Pomona Elementary School's principal.

Brown said it was in her last position as coordinator — a pseudo-administrative position — that she realized administration played on her strengths.

For her first year, Brown said her goal is to really get into the community of Pomona Elementary.

"My agenda for my first year is to really get to know the staff and the community, and to build relationships with the staff and community," she said.

Another goal of the school in Costa Mesa that really resonated with Brown was for it to be top in academics and character.

To make this happen, Pomona Elementary is developing an action plan to get to the next level; the school is also in the process of adopting a character education program, she said.

"All areas are important to me, but I [want] to be top, top academically and to be known as a school where staff, parents, teachers and students are all full of integrity and great character," she said. "I think that is already here; we just want to take it to that next level."

Hobbies: Running, biking, camping with her husband and four boys

Just finished reading: The "Harry Potter" series with her sons (again)

Trivia: Brown is an alumna of California Elementary, TeWinkle Middle and Estancia High schools

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Lorie Hoggard, Killybrooke Elementary School

As Hoggard moved from teaching to administration, she always made a point to stay connected with the kids.

"I've always done something hands-on with kids since I've been out of the classroom," she said, "so that I never lose that perspective of really what it's like on the front lines working with children."

As Hoggard begins her first year as Killybrooke Elementary's principal, she plans to continue her tradition by starting and advising a student council.

Although it's still in the planning stages, Hoggard, 40, said it's an opportunity to give students, who don't necessarily excel at music or sports, a chance to shine while teaching them much more.

"I love for the kids to have that leadership opportunity, and that inside perspective of the school and helping make decisions," she said.

The Long Beach native started as a teaching assistant in college, where she worked with small groups of children who were learning English as a second language. It was then that she decided to go into education.

"Watching them learn and grow and watching the light bulbs go on, that's when I knew I wanted to be a teacher," she said.

Hoggard taught grades second and fourth before she became Sonora Elementary School's principal. From there, she served as the director of early childhood education, where she helped grow the district's preschool to program to what it is today.

She said her background has helped her understand the foundational skills children need. It's also helped her see the bigger picture.

Hoggard's goal for her first year is to keep her Costa Mesa school from losing any of its momentum that has pushed its growth academically.

Her other focus is literacy and monitoring grade-level assessments to make sure each student is at grade level or above.

The Huntington Beach resident and mother of two said she loves being part of children's learning and growing.

"It's a treat to be a part of kids' lives at this age," she said. "They're so excited about learning and all the neat things they do, so I love being a part of that. That's really what gets me up in the morning."

Hobbies: Running, genealogy

Favorite children's book: "By the Great Horn Spoon!" by Sid Fleischman

Trivia: Traced her family tree back to Charlemagne and King Herod the Great

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Kathleen Jaquin, Newport Heights Elementary

Part of being a new principal is getting to know the school, the staff, the community and — of course — the kids.

Newport Heights Elementary Principal Jaquin, 44, said the biggest learning curve for her is getting to know every student's name.

For that, though, she has a trick. Jaquin challenges all students to come up to her on the playground three times to tell her their names.

"They love that," she said. "'Hi, do you remember my name?' They quiz me, which is good for me, because I really do want to learn all their names."

The Huntington Beach resident is getting ready to open the Newport Beach school Tuesday after leaving her post as an elementary school principal in Huntington Beach, where she served for three years. She has taught grades first through fourth, and served as a middle school assistant principal.

Jaquin got into administration after realizing that it would let her help foster the students' love of learning while also connecting with children on a larger scale.

Though education wasn't always Jaquin's plan. Growing up in Buffalo, N.Y., she started out as a social worker at a school for teens before deciding to go into teaching.

"I felt that if kids enjoyed school and loved to learn, that maybe some of the difference they made later on would be different," she said.

One of Jaquin's big focuses is literacy. Everyone has to know how to communicate, read, write and problem-solve, she said.

"Literacy is such an important part of every single job," she said. "I feel like that's one of our important jobs as educators — to make sure kids are problem-solvers and have a rich literacy background."

First off, Jaquin said she wants to identify what is working at the school and then build on it. Her predecessor put into place a number of programs, like accelerated reading and math, and intervention models. Jaquin said she wants those to grow.

"There are so many wonderful things going on at this school," she said. "I obviously need to see what's already going really well and just build on those strengths."

Hobbies: Running, reading, spending time with her husband and miniature pinscher, Taco

Just read: "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett

Trivia: She twice ran the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C., and Arlington, Va.

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Gloria Duncan, Ensign Intermediate School

Growing up in Montebello in the San Gabriel Valley among a family of six kids, Duncan was a teacher from the beginning.

"I just always have loved children, helping people, kids, to learn," she said. "Even as a very young child, I was always the one trying to help someone … and trying to teach someone."

Duncan, 55, kept that attitude into her teaching career. As a math teacher, Duncan lived by the mission statement that everyone could learn math — not just the elite.

She was the teacher who struggling students were brought to, even when her class was already full.

"I never turned anyone away," Duncan said. "I always felt responsible for all my students and learning. Even now as a principal, I feel very responsible for all our children here and making sure all of them are learning and successful."

The Anaheim Hills resident has held several high school administrative positions — including principal — before she came to Ensign Intermediate School to be the assistant principal. This summer, Duncan took over as principal.

"I enjoyed being a principal because you have opportunity to influence so many different aspects of the school and people," she said. "I just love making a difference."

Duncan found middle school a great place, and although the pre-teen crowd can have a negative reputation, she says they're irresistible.

"If you really want to make a difference and if you're looking for the biggest challenge of making a difference, middle school can be that place," she said. "It's just a very crucial part of everyone's life and we have to prepare them for high school and college and work. So we're teaching them not only the content standards, but how to be good people."

Already being on site, Duncan is hitting the ground running: She's continuing programs her predecessor started — and making a few changes of her own — for the campus in Costa Mesa.

The school crafted a mission statement: "Every student, every day, engaged in learning."

"We feel, my leadership team and I, really excited about this new mission statement," she said, "because it kind of captures what we want to happen every day at our school."

Hobbies: Reading, boating, jogging, spending time with her three children and husband of 34 years

Reading right now: "Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College " by Doug Lemov

Trivia: Finished her doctorate in May

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