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The Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District is very pleased to announce the appointments of a new Director of Curriculum and Special Projects, effective June 11, 2012, and five new principals, all of whom begin their official duties July 1, 2012. Alberto Solorzano will take the helm at and Gregg Elliott and Laura Lembo will preside over and , respectively. Patricia Avilla and Joshua Swerdlow, currently vice principals in the district, have been promoted to principal positions. Ms. Avilla will serve at and Mr. Swerdlow at .
“Research and experience uphold that leaders make a difference. An incredible amount of time, energy, input and thought has been invested into administration hiring and placement decisions. The selected principals rose to the top of an extremely qualified candidate pool and all have in common a commitment to excellence and a proven track record of doing “whatever it takes” to ensure students receive the highest quality educational experience. We are thrilled about the additions and confident that our administrative team will be strengthened to the benefit of our staff, students, unified district and community,” stated Kelly Bowers, Superintendent of Schools.
Ms. Amy Robbins has been appointed as the Director of Curriculum and Special Projects. Amy has worked in education for 13 years, ten of which have been in the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District. She has a master's degree in Educational Leadership from Saint Mary's College of California and a bachelor's degree in Middle School Education, specializing in mathematics and science, from the University of Kentucky. Amy is currently the Principal at . Prior to her assignment at Christensen, Amy worked as a Vice Principal at , a Teacher on Special Assignment in the Curriculum and Special Projects Department, and a math and science teacher within the District.
Amy's strong background in curriculum and assessment has helped her lead staff in improving student performance and expanding the curricular offerings available to students. Over the past four years at Christensen, Amy has been instrumental in raising the school's State test scores. Through her close partnership with the Parent Teacher Association (PTA), Amy was able to fund an extra section and offer any interested seventh and eighth grade student the opportunity to take a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Exploration elective. This elective continues to have a positive impact on students’ personal goals by encouraging their desire to participate in the Green Engineering Academy at and pursue higher education.
Throughout her career in education, Amy has demonstrated her commitment to ensuring equity, educating the whole child, enhancing educational opportunities, expanding curricular offerings, and engaging all stakeholders. Amy works with her staff and colleagues to support the District's mission to prepare students to “contribute and thrive in a changing world”. Her efforts and hard work were rewarded this year when Amy's colleagues named her the 2012 Outstanding Administrator of the Year.
Mr. Alberto Solorzano has been appointed as the new principal of . Alberto has been in education for 17 years in the New Haven Unified School District. He is currently the principal at Cesar Chavez Middle School, a school with 1,500 students in grades 6 through 8. Prior to becoming principal of Cesar Chavez Middle, he was a House Principal at James Logan High School, where he spent the majority of his career as an administrator, teacher and soccer coach.
In 2010, the New Haven Administrators’ Association named Alberto Secondary Principal of the Year. Prior to that, in 2008, he was inducted into the James Logan Soccer Hall of Fame for his performance as a player, coach and administrator. Alberto has a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and completed his undergraduate studies at San Francisco State University. Alberto continues to stretch his learning, as he is currently part of the prestigious Principal Fellowship Program for select Bay Area administrators at Stanford University.
Mr. Gregg Elliott has been appointed as the new principal of . Gregg brings 10 years of teaching and 9 years of administrative experience at K-6 and K-8 schools with expertise in leading regular, bilingual and special education students. Gregg is currently the principal of Robertson Road Elementary School in Modesto.
As a middle school teacher, Gregg’s time in the classroom provided a rich opportunity to develop best teaching practices that have assisted him as a principal. He has taken his training and experience and developed a leadership style that embraces academic and social excellence through instructional coaching, mentorship and collaboration with the school community.
Mr. Elliott is excited about the opportunity to contribute his knowledge and skills to further LJVUSD’s educational goals and objectives.
Dr. Laura Lembo has been appointed as the new principal of . Dr. Lembo’s educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, a master’s degree in School Administration and a doctoral degree with distinction in Educational Leadership. Her recent experience was with Modesto City Schools District, where she served as Principal of William Garrison Elementary School. She has also been a Vice Principal, District Literacy Coordinator, Literacy Intervention Specialist, and classroom teacher at grades kindergarten, second and six during her eighteen years with the District. She is an action researcher at heart with a contagious passion and enthusiasm for empowering teachers to ensure all children learn to read. She is employed part time as a lecturer for the Advanced Studies, School Administration Program at California State University, Stanislaus.
Ms. Patricia Avilla has been appointed as the principal of . Pat has been in education for over 20 years in a variety of capacities, ranging from a teacher at Junction Avenue Middle School, teacher and swim coach at , and vice principal at both Livermore and . Pat graduated from St. Mary’s College of California with a Bachelor of Science degree; received her K-12 teaching credential at the University of Arizona; and earned her administrative credential from CSU East Bay.
“As a 23-year resident of Livermore and an employee of the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District for twenty years, I hold a passion for our community and particularly our schools,” stated Ms. Avilla, “I am honored and thrilled to be a part of the Christensen Middle School community.”
Mr. Joshua Swerdlow has been appointed as the principal of . Josh attended college at the University of Hartford, earning a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He began his educational career in Compton, California as a high school math teacher. He later earned a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from California State University, Dominguez Hills. After six years of teaching, he served three years as high school vice principal in the Los Angeles area, and six years as vice principal of a middle school in San Jose. Josh has served as vice principal of during the 2011/2012 school year.
“I am extremely honored and thrilled to have been selected as the new principal of . My goal is to continue to improve student achievement and foster my fundamental belief that all students can and will learn.”