It’s like a game of musical chairs at Berkeley schools right now, as a group of new faces move into top positions following the departure of key personnel.
John Muir and Oxford Elementary schools, King Middle School and Berkeley Technology Academy (B-Tech) have new principals, and there’s a new vice-principal at Berkeley High.
Jason Lustig’s decision to pursue an academic course at Harvard, which saw him step down from his position as principal of King Middle School at the end of this academic year, set the ball in motion for several appointments that followed. Lustig, was in the post for four years after a stint as principal at Cragmont Elementary School.
Janet Levenson has been selected as the next King Principal. Levenson has been the principal of Oxford Elementary for the past six years. Her record there includes the significant improvement in the achievement of her African-American students.
Javier Mendieta is leaving his post as principal of John Muir Elementary School to be Levenson’s vice-principal at King.
Audrey Amos, currently the vice-principal of Willard Middle School, will replace Mendieta as principal at John Muir. Amos has been an elementary and secondary teacher, a teacher on special assignment for data and assessment, and a summer school principal.
Meanwhile, Jennifer Corn has been named Principal of Oxford Elementary. Corn came to the district in 2005 and has been employed as a teacher, literacy coach, summer school principal, and bilingual teacher. Prior to coming to Berkeley, Corn worked in the Oakland Unified School District.
Sheila Quintana will join Berkeley Unified as principal for Berkeley Technology Academy (B-Tech) in the coming school year. Since 2007, Quintana has been the principal of Solano Middle School in the Vallejo Unified School District.
Burr Guthrie has been appointed to the expanded position of principal of adult and career education at B-Tech, beginning next month.
Finally, Ashley Milton, the program coordinator for Berkeley International High School, has been appointed a vice-principal at Berkeley High School. This follows the decision by BHS vice-principal Amy Frey to assume the principalship at Lionel Wilson Prep, a 500 student 6th-12th grade charter school which is part of the Aspire Network.
Milton came to the district in 2005 when she was employed as a special education teacher and she has served for three years as the program coordinator for Berkeley International High School. She was one of the founding faculty members of that program as a member of the original design team.
A search is underway for a new IB coordinator.