New faces in the office

GLENDALE — Nearly one-third of Glendale Unified campuses will open Aug. 30 with new principals.

And with associate and assistant principals included, more than half of all schools will have at least one new administrator.

At the district central offices, the top three administrators are all also new to their positions.

"This wouldn't be considered a normal attrition," Glendale Unified Supt. Dick Sheehan said. "This is by far on the larger side."

It's been one of the busiest spring and summers with all the retirements and promotions, officials said. Of the staff changes, all but one came from within the district.

"It speaks volumes to the high-quality individuals we have working in the district," Sheehan said.

The unusually high number of vacancies was created by an early-retirement incentive this year that many teachers and administrators signed up for, he said. And there is attrition every year as people leave for new positions, Sheehan said.

At the campuses, administrators were promoted, reassigned or both. Still, there's a change between Rosemont Middle School and Crescenta Valley High School, said Michele Doll, who left the middle school for the top job at the high school.

A larger student body and different content standards are among the changes in store, but Doll said she's seen it all before, with previous principal experience and seven years working at Glendale High School.

"I'm used to the size and the athletics and the clubs, which will be new [compared to Rosemont]," she said. "It's kind of like coming back home for me, because I've already been at a high school. I know what is expected."

New associate and assistant principals will see their responsibilities shift and overlap, officials said. Mike Bertram, who will become the associate principal at Crescenta Valley this year, was previously an assistant principal in Glendale Unified.

"I now have a more global position where I'm involved in just about everything," he said.

While in previous years he was tasked with discipline, student support and special-education services, he'll see additional campus safety and coordination responsibilities in his new position, he said.

"It's a terrific promotion for me," Bertram said.

Last week, district officials rehired or promoted eight teachers to teacher specialists, a position that combines administrative work with developing instruction and identifying learning gaps among students, officials said.

At some of the district's smaller elementary campuses, these specialists act as vice principal, Sheehan said.

It'll take some time to adjust to their new authority, but with an open mind and good communication, the transition will be seamless across the district and at each school, Sheehan said.

"Anybody moving from one position to the other needs to take the time to learn the position," he said. "They just have … to be patient and visible in classrooms, and see all the different [teaching and leadership] styles there are."

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