Cragmont Elementary School in Berkeley: one of four schools to have been appointed a new principal last week. Photo: Cragmont School
Cragmont Elementary School in Berkeley: one of four schools to have been appointed a new principal last week. Photo: Cragmont School

Four new principals have been appointed to Berkeley elementary and middle schools, and the Berkeley Unified Board has decided to conduct a second-round search for a candidate to replace Pasquale Scuderi who is leaving his post as principal of Berkeley High to become Assistant Superintendent.

The board also approved last week the appointment of a new vice-principal at Berkeley High and a program supervisor for its Extended Learning Program.

There follows information on all the new appointments, provided by BUSD.

Hazelle Fortich is the new principal at Cragmont Elementary School

Hazelle Fortich has deep roots in our district community. She has served as Coordinator for Early Childhood Program, summer school principal, interim principal at Washington, literacy coach at Washington, after-school teacher at LeConte, and teacher at Malcolm X. One of her references states: “She lives and works in Berkeley and is a committed parent, teacher and community member. Those experiences mean that she will bring the importance of family and community to any school district. As a parent, she knows the value of strong ties to families and the value of fostering all forms of diversity in our schools.”

Sonya Martin is new principal at Jefferson Elementary School

For the past three years, Sonya has served as Vice-Principal at Willard. She most recently served as interim principal at Malcolm X. Prior to that, she was a teacher on special assignment in our Evaluation and Assessment Department, a teacher at Willard and Longfellow, and summer school principal. She began her teaching career in Oakland Unified School District where she worked from 1992 to 2002 as a full inclusion teacher. One of Sonya’s colleagues describes her as, “intelligent, hardworking, dedicated, professional and committed to issues of equity in education.”

René Molina is new principal at Berkeley Arts Magnet

For the past four years, René has been the principal of Madrone Elementary School in Santa Rosa. Prior to that he worked as assistant principal at the elementary and middle school level in Pittsburg. He received a master’s degree in education from University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts, sciences and psychology from San Diego State University. A reference shares that René is an intelligent, hardworking and compassionate administrator who is able to analyze situations quickly and thoughtfully, is willing to do whatever it takes to get a job done, does an excellent job of listening, and cares deeply about the success of all students.

Marcos García is new principal at Longfellow Middle School

Marcos has served as an elementary principal and social studies teacher in West Contra Costa, and as a middle and high school teacher in Emeryville and Los Angeles. He received a master’s degree in educational leadership through Principal Leadership Institute at the University of California at Berkley and a bachelor’s degree in political science from UCLA. One of his supervisors affirms that Marcos’s “level of urgency, expected rigor and support ensured that the students were well-prepared for academic and career success. His commitment to equity for underserved students, and his resolve to close the exposure and achievement gap have driven his work and led to many accomplishments.”

Daniel Roose is new vice-principal at Berkeley High School

Daniel Roose has served as a dean at Berkeley High School. His focus on increasing student engagement by establishing a system to increase student attendance and developing parent relations to support student needs has resulted in a significant increase in student attendance. Prior to becoming a dean, he taught Spanish as a World Language at Berkeley High and also served as the department co-chair and WASC coordinator. One of his references states: “It is my professional judgment, after writing nearly 250 of these recommendations for PLI graduates, that Daniel is a strong contender for leadership in any school anywhere. He believes in students, and he believes in the power of adults working together to serve students. He is highly organized, possesses strong interpersonal skills, is wise and thoughtful, and is ready to join a team that is committed to providing high quality teaching and learning.”

Tauvia Frank Harrigan, program supervisor, Extended Learning

Tauvia is presently a teacher on special assignment coordinating the after=school program at Greenfield Unified School District where she also served as the After-School Site Leader. She has also served as teacher at the adult school level and a Spanish middle school teacher in Los Angeles. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Spanish and History from Dartmouth. One of her colleagues describes her as charismatic, genuine, exemplifying integrity, always up for a challenge, collaborative, innovative, reliable, and with an excellent work ethic.

2 Berkeley school principals move to new district roles (05.16.14)
BHS Principal Pasquale Scuderi moves to Assistant Superintendent (05.01.14)
Illegal enrollment is boon and burden to Berkeley schools (04.08.14)

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...