MODESTO — Modesto City Schools has named principals to begin this summer at Davis High, Johansen High and the district's continuation campus, Elliott. Principals at the three sites were told in December they would not be returning, sparking two months of school board meeting protests.
Two of the principals have left, with retired administrators filling their seats through year's end.
Friday, Associate Superintendent Ginger Johnson said that Nathan Schar, now principal at Roosevelt Junior High, will take the reins at Johansen. Mike Rich, an associate principal at Davis, will move up to principal there. David Houck, an assistant principal at Elliott, will lead the alternative education site.
While district administration made the final choice, Schar and Rich also were the top picks of initial interview panels that included teachers and support staff at each campus, Johnson said.
"We really want strong administrative teams," she said, moving away from the traditional model of a single administrator doing it all.
At Johansen, Schar will replace retired Deputy Superintendent Chris Flesuras. In a letter sent to parents Monday, Flesuras said he was filling in after former Principal Julie Moore left for a job in Atwater on March 8.
At Davis High, Rich will take the seat of Principal Lynn Lysko, who's leaving June 30.
At Elliott, Houck will replace interim Principal Rodney Owen, a retired administrator who stepped in after Principal Julie Beebe was place on paid leave Jan. 29.
Johnson said the Elliott staff wanted someone with a heart for struggling students. "They said principals go to Elliott when they're moving up or moving down. They wanted someone who wanted to be at an alternative site," she said.
Houck told interviewers he planned to spend the rest of his career at Elliott, Johnson said.
The fourth principal told he would be leaving at year's end was Franklin Elementary Principal Michael Brady. Johnson said that post will be filled from a pool of applicants for elementary posts within the district, not as a separate application process like the high schools. The elementary interviews will be held after spring break.