District announces new principals for LeConte, Oxford

LeConte Elementary School. Photo: BUSD.

Le Conte Elementary School. Photo: BUSD.

New principal appointments have been made for Berkeley’s LeConte and Oxford elementary schools.

Elizabeth (“Beth”) Rhine will assume the role of principal at Oxford, replacing Jen Corn, who transferred to Thousand Oaks this summer. Veronica Valerio will join LeConte as its principal after Kathryn Singh, the former principal, announced on July 1 that she would be moving to Massachusetts for family reasons.

New BUSD Superintendent Donald Evans emailed both school communities announcing the new appointments last week.

For the past four years, Rhine has been the principal of Crocker Highlands Elementary School in Oakland. She has taught for 16 years in the Oakland Unified School District and earned her degree in psychology at UC Berkeley.

Evans described Rhine as a “collaborative leader” who is “committed to ensuring the academic and social-emotional success of each child.” A welcoming reception on Aug. 10, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Oxford School, offers the chance for parents to meet Rhine.

Valerio graduated from UCLA and became a bilingual Spanish teacher in Oakland and San Leandro before becoming the regional English language arts specialist in Oakland Unified School District, where she helped principals and leadership teams use best practices for teaching English.

Valerio has also worked as assistant principal at elementary schools in the Inglewood and Mt. Diablo school districts. She joined BUSD in 2011 as the professional development coordinator at the Berkeley Adult School. Her familiarity with BUSD’s curriculum and policies will allow her more time to get to know LeConte, Evans said in his email to the LeConte community.

LeConte and Oxford are not the only Berkeley schools getting a leadership shake-up this summer. Washington Elementary School’s new principal, Mel Stenger, has replaced Rita Kimball, who left at the end of the last academic year, and Debbie Dean has taken on the role of principal at Willard Middle School after Robert Ithurburn left to take up a new post.

Related:
Oxford Principal to Thousand Oaks amid district reshuffle (07.01.13)
Willard names new principal, Thousand Oaks on hunt (06.14.13)

Eden Teller, a graduate of Berkeley High School, is a summer intern at Berkeleyside. She will be attending Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, next year.

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  • OUSD Mom

    Both Ms. Rhine and Mr. Stenger were very popular principals in great Oakland public schools. I wonder why they both are moving to Berkeley. Could it be Tony Smith’s departure, or is OUSD just too dysfunctional? Maybe Berkeley pays more? I would love to know why they left.

  • a Crocker Mom

    Same here. We are so sad that Ms. Rhine left our school… :-(