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MBUSD Names New Pacific Elementary Principal

Jun 03, 2023 11:51AM ● By Jeanne Fratello
Amanda Vavao - who is currently a vice principal at Mira Costa High School - has been named the new principal of Pacific Elementary School. She replaces longtime principal Rhonda Steinberg, who is retiring.

Vavao has served MBUSD since 2006 in positions both inside and outside the classroom. She was an elementary school teacher for sixteen years; teaching at Pennekamp Elementary, serving as a substitute across the district, and serving as the MBUSD summer school Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) principal intern for grades K-12.

At Mira Costa for the past two years, Vavao supported safety on campus and assisted students with resources and interventions.

"I know she will be a great addition to the Pacific community with her proven commitment to students and her outstanding leadership skills," MBUSD Superintendent John Bowes wrote in his weekly newsletter.

Vavao wrote in an email to Pacific parents, "As a parent who has witnessed my own children’s journey through MBUSD schools, I deeply understand how remarkable our school communities are, and the vital difference the involvement and support of our families make in creating these exceptional learning environments that support the whole child."

Steinberg has served for 18 years in the Manhattan Beach schools, as principal at Grand View Elementary School for 11 years, and as principal at Pacific since 2015. Altogether, she has worked for 51 years as an educator.

"During her time at MBUSD, she has made a profound impact," said Bowes. "Rhonda is a passionate leader and created an environment where her students and staff thrived. We know her absence in the Pacific and MBUSD communities will truly be felt."

New Mira Costa Vice Principals Named

The district has also named three new vice principals for Mira Costa High School.

  • Deborah Park, a learning and achievement specialist, curator of projects, and literacy coach from the Santa Ana Unified School District;
  • Raeann Marti, a humanities teacher from Manhattan Beach Middle School who has also served in other administrative roles for the district;
  • Kimberly Price, a teacher from Pennekamp Elementary, who has served in supporting roles for teachers and students.

The departing vice principals include Daniel Pestle, who is relocating to Oregon with his family; and Carolyn Seaton and Deborah Hofreiter, who are retiring but had stepped in this year as interim vice principals.

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