By Mimi Rohr
OAKLAND -- Montera Middle School has a new slate of administrators for the upcoming school year, which starts Monday. Tina Tranzor, an assistant principal at Montera last year, has been named interim principal of the hills school, while Jeremy Packman and Mary Charlesworth were tapped as the new vice principals.
The Oakland Unified School District made the appointments after the recent departures of former principal Russom Mesfun, who is set to become a high school principal in Southern California, and ex-vice principal Thom Kwiatkowski, who has taken a job as the principal at a middle school in Contra Costa County.
Under their leadership, Montera was named a Distinguished School in 2011 by the state.
"Montera has made so many gains. I'm excited to take it to the next level," said Tranzor, who has 17 years of teaching experience. "I have big plans. My goal is to make Montera feel like home to everyone."
Tranzor's credentials include a bachelor's degree from the University of California-Berkeley in English, a law degree from the University of Iowa, a teaching credential from John F. Kennedy University in Orinda and an advanced degree as an educational specialist from Union University in Tennessee.
She began teaching in Oakland in 1997 at Roosevelt Middle School and then taught in Tennessee for several years. She returned to Oakland to teach fifth grade at Garfield Elementary School in 2008, before becoming a math coach in 2009.Vice principal Packman comes to Montera from Elmhurst Community Preparatory, an Oakland public school where he taught history from 2004 to 2011. He became the coordinator of extended learning at Elmhurst last year.
Packman has a bachelor's degree from Towson University in Maryland and a teaching credential as well as a master's degree in educational leadership and administration from California State University-East Bay.
A 20-year veteran of Montera, Charlesworth taught math and served as the chair of the math department at the school before being named as a vice principal. She has a bachelor's degree from the University of California-Santa Barbara and obtained her teaching credential and a master's degree in education at Columbia University in New York. In addition, she completed an administrative credential at California State University-East Bay.
Montera Middle School is the largest middle school in Oakland. It had about 950 students in the 2011-2012 school year who came from neighborhoods across the city.