When students start the new school year at Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District on Aug. 25, they will also be joined by two new principals.
In a recent statement, Superintendent Kelly Bowers welcomed Marni Angelo and Jesse Hansen -- the new principals at Croce Elementary and East Avenue Middle, respectively -- as "outstanding leaders whose focus on relationships, equity, and academic excellence support our district's commitment to preparing each student to contribute and thrive in our changing world."
Angelo and Hansen spent most of the summer preparing for their new responsibilities as school leaders and to welcome students, families and teachers on their first day of classes, according to LVJUSD.
That first day of school should also feel like a homecoming for longtime educator Angelo, who taught first and second grades at Croce for 20 years -- two thirds of a career spanning three decades. Angelo is back at Croce after serving as a teacher-on-special-assignment, an interim vice principal, and finally as a summer school principal.
"While school will look very different this year, my focus will be to ensure that each child feels connected and is challenged by new learning opportunities and experiences," Angelo said.
Angelo replaces former principal Kendra Helsley, who left for Ensley Elementary in Modesto, and holds a master's degree in educational leadership from California State University East Bay, as well as a bachelor's degree in speech and hearing sciences from UC Santa Barbara.
Also a veteran of the classroom, Hansen brings more than 20 years of experience teaching middle and high school students, and has worked in administration positions for the past eight years, including middle school vice principal and as a high school assistant principal. Hansen also sees building a strong, supportive community as his primary objective during the coronavirus pandemic.
"Connection is what makes us feel like a community and is what allows us to achieve greatness. This connection is doubly important as we face the uncertainties associated with the current pandemic," Hansen said.
Hansen earned his economics degree from Carleton College before later receiving a master's degree in educational administration from Brandman University. He will take over from Mistee Guzman, who is now principal at Edendale Middle School in San Lorenzo.