By 8:15, the asphalt playing field of Emerson Elementary School in south Berkeley was filled with nervous kindergarteners, anxious (and happy) parents, and delighted kids, all gathered for an all-school rally before the first day of classes.

The kids lined up in rows according to their grades. The teachers stood in front of them, and camera-toting parents stood in the back.

Right after the new kindergarten students filed into their classrooms, the teachers led the students in a loud cheer, “E-M-E-R-S-O-N. What does that spell? Emerson!”

There are a lot of new faces at the helm of Berkeley schools this year. Here’s a handy guide to new principals and administrators.

Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman...