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Manhattan Beach Schools Name New Grand View Principal

Aug 05, 2021 07:55AM ● By Jeanne Fratello
The Manhattan Beach Unified School District has made several personnel announcements including naming Tara Grings as the new principal at Grand View Elementary School.

Grings, who currently serves as a vice principal at Mira Costa High School, will replace Grand View Elementary Principal Nancy Doyle, who is retiring this month.

"I am just so humbled at this moment," Grings told MBUSD board members following her appointment at the Wednesday night school board meeting. "I did have an incredible tenure as vice principal at Mira Costa and I hold Costa really close to my heart, but I am so excited to take all of my skills to Grand View and partner with our community, our parents, our staff, and most importantly our students. I’m excited to get on campus, and I’m excited to see you all on campus and make this the best school year ever. Go Gators!"

Prior to serving at Mira Costa, Grings had taught since 2006 in both middle school and high school. She has been an English teacher, choral director, and musical theater teacher in the Los Angeles Unified and Hawthorne School Districts. She has worked with UCLA Center X on culturally responsive teaching and schoolwide multi-cultural programs.

She also has the unusual claim to fame of having sung the national anthem at Dodger Stadium.

Mira Costa Vice Principals Named

The board also named three new vice principals to fill vacancies at Mira Costa High School.

The three new vice principals are:

Jessica Lubs - Lubs is a familiar face at Mira Costa, having previously filled in as interim vice principal during two recent maternity leaves; most recently during the 2018-19 school year. She has previously taught English at El Segundo High School, worked as a Teacher on Special Assignment for the El Segundo Unified School District, and served as a field work instructor at Loyola Marymount University.

Amanda Vavao - Vavao is currently a teacher at Pennekamp Elementary in Manhattan Beach who has her administrative credentials. "She is a problem solver, a thinker, she really likes to take on a task and run with it," said Suzanne Webb, MBUSD's assistant superintendent of Human Resources.

Jennifer Huynh - Huynh has served as a vice principal at Santa Ana High School for the past three years. She has "a plethora of experience in master scheduling, athletics, attendance, and activities," according to Webb.

The three new vice principals will join Vice Principal Daniel Pestle as part of a four-person vice principal team at the 2,500-student high school.

Administrative Reorganization

Additionally, there are now several cabinet-level changes at the school district. Katherine Whittaker Stopp, MBUSD's Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, will be departing the district to take a new position as Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services in the Fountain Valley Unified School District.

In light of her departure, the board agreed to name Irene Gonzalez-Castillo as the Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, and eliminate the Assistant Superintendent of Student Services position (Gonzalez-Castillo's former position). This would place Gonzalez-Castillo over both Educational Services and Special Education.

The board also agreed to reorganize and create a new position, the Director of Student Services, who would report to Suzanne Webb, the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources. According to board documents, "The establishment of this position will allow for a more comprehensive approach to Student Services functions, while also streamlining health and safety protocols and complaint processes which overlap and naturally connect with the responsibilities of the Human Resources department." The establishment of a Director of Student Services was a key recommendation from the Special Education Study provided to the board in December 2019.

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