By Martin Ricard
Just in time for the new school year, the San Bruno Park School District has filled three key positions that are slated to make school operations run more effectively.
One of the newest positions added is the principal for Crestmoor and Rollingwood schools, who will share responsibilities between the two sites. After the principal at Crestmoor resigned last year amid uncertainty over school closures and the contract for the principal at Rollingwood wasn't renewed, the district made a bold move by deciding to assign one principal to both schools.
The experiment will be a lesson in whether the district can keep all of its elementary schools open, save money and maintain the individual school's high test scores.
The other new position added is the director of student services, a district office administrator who will specialize in overseeing the district's special education program.
A report released last year called for a sweeping overhaul of special education in San Bruno Park and recommended that the district hire a special education director, which could help save the district more than $450,000. Before, Superintendent David Hutt was handling those duties in addition to all of his other responsibilities.
The district also hired a new chief business officer, who will manage the district's finances full-time.
Here is some more information about each new hire:
Leigh Schwartz, principal, Crestmoor and Rollingwood schools—Schwartz earned his master's in educational administration from California Lutheran University and has a California Administrative credential and teaching credential for music. He has been a principal with the Mesa Union School District, Gilroy Unified School District and, most recently, the Coachella Valley Unified School District. As principal of both schools, Schwartz will be making $101,239 a year.
"Mr. Schwartz has already been visiting San Bruno, particularly going to each of his school sites and getting know more about his new assignments," the district said in a statement.
Ellen Merritt, director of student services—Merritt has been working for the district since 1986—most recently as a speech and language therapist. She has a master's in speech and language pathology from Cal State East Bay and holds credentials in administrative services and speech and language. Her salary will be $94,522.
Steven Eichamn, chief business officer—Eichamn has spent 20 years working in school business services, including as a director of administrative services, manager of purchasing and business services director. He has a master's in school business and finance from the University of Wisconsin, and he will be earning $101,432 a year.