NEWMAN - Two principal posts for the upcoming school year were recently filled by the Newman-Crows Landing school board.
One is a current administrator in the local district, while the other comes to the West Side from Contra Costa County.
Rachel Henley, who is currently the learning director at Hunt Elementary, will succeed Brandi Petersen as principal at Bonita School in Crows Landing. Petersen has requested a return to the classroom, according to Superintendent Randy Fillpot.
Michelle Smith, who is currently principal of a K-6 school in the West Contra Costa Unified School District, will become Yolo Middle School principal next year. Current principal Eva Luna has resigned effective the end of the current school year.
Fillpot said Henley, who has also served as learning director at Hurd Barrington Elementary, is an experienced instructional coach whose strengths include evaluating educational data and adjusting instruction accordingly.
Smith is bilingual and comes to Yolo from a school with a dual language immersion program, he said.
“She brings a wealth of instructional leadership,” Fillpot commented.
He said filling the pending vacancies early in the hiring season was a priority.
“My philosophy has always been to get in early and get the best candidates,” Fillpot said. “We wanted to nail those down pretty quickly, and we are actually looking for (Henley’s) replacement at Hunt.”