Topping the list is Odie Douglas, who was hired to replace Cindy Galbo as the district's assistant superintendent of educational services. Douglas started July 1; most recently he was associate/assistant superintendent of educational services at Lodi Unified School District, and was also associate/assistant superintendent of secondary education at Elk Grove USD. Douglas, who has a doctorate in education from the University of San Francisco, was also a principal and teacher in the Elk Grove district. He'll be at the district's first board meeting for the upcoming year on Aug. 21.
Two of the district's elementary schools have new principals.
Mindy Bolar, who was director of educational services and an elementary school principal in the Milpitas district began July 1 as principal of Lydiksen Elementary School. Bolar was also coordinator of professional development for new teachers in Milpitas, as well as working as a staff developer and a teacher in that district. She has a Master of science in education and an administrative services credential, both from Cal State University in Hayward.
Stephanie Ceminsky, who served as an assistant principal at Amador Valley High School in the 2011-12 school year was named Donlon Elementary's new principal. She replaces Amy Simione, who resigned to move to the East Coast. Ceminsky has more than nine years' experience as a school site administrator and has been assistant principal at elementary, middle and high schools. She was also a summer school principal, and a teacher at elementary and middle schools, along with experience in teaching special education students. Ceminsky has a master's degree in educational leadership from St. Mary's College in Moraga.
Lori Vella, who was vice principal at Foothill High School, has been transferred to Ceminsky's position at Amador, freeing up a slot for a new vice principal at Foothill. Leslie Heller, a longtime teacher at Amador Valley High School, has been named as its vice principal.
Heller has been an English teacher at Amador Valley High School for 14 years and served as head of the school's English department, having worked for four years at River City High School in west Sacramento before moving to Pleasanton. In Sacramento she taught English, remedial reading and English as a second language classes, in addition to coaching swimming and stepping in as an interim high school vice principal. Heller, who served as Amador's coordinator for the Every 15 Minutes program, received her master's degree at Sacramento State University.
Along with the new administrators, the district has appointed Ed Arndt as director of clinical services for the Tri-Valley Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA), a consortium of school districts providing special education services. Arndt has worked as a school psychologist in the district since 1997, after working for a year as a psychologist for the Livermore Valley district. He was also a psychologist with the Child and Adolescent Services branch of the Bureau of Mental Health in Maryland, with a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.