M-A and Oak Knoll principals set to assume new roles with their respective districts
Menlo-Atherton High School principal Simone Rick-Kennel is taking on a new role as Executive Director of Small School Innovation, the Sequoia Union High School District announced today.
Simone has been at M-A for the past 19 years, first as a special education teacher and then Dean of Students, followed by Vice Principal and the last six years as principal.
“In many ways, transitions are a part of life and while this one will be a significant one for me and the school, I know M-A is a great school, in a great place to continue doing remarkable things for students with highly dedicated teaching, classified and administrative staff that I could not be more proud of,” said Simone in a letter to the school community. “ It is a school that embodies our collective community and it will continue to be an amazing school focused on our vision and mission to celebrate and make Strength in Diversity a reality for every student. “
In her new role, Simone will be responsible for overseeing the District’s three small schools (TIDE Academy, Redwood High School, and East Palo Alto Academy). In her new role, one of the key areas she will be responsible for is serving as Co-Principal of TIDE Academy to strengthen and further TIDE’s philosophical underpinnings of preparing students for college and career success, provide students with individualized attention in a small environment, and to ensure deep learning through a personal approach.
Simone’s last day as principal of M-A will be June 30, 2021, and she will begin as Executive Director of Small Schools Innovation on July 1, 2021.
Earlier this month, Menlo Park City School District Superintendent Erik Burmeister recommended that Oak Knoll Principal Kristen Gracia be appointed to the district’s new role of Assistant Superintendent for Talent and Technology.
This position will consolidate the roles of two directors that will be open at the end of the year. “As we come out of the pandemic, plan for budget cuts, and need to pass a parcel tax, having an additional leader in the district office who knows MPCSD inside out and who has a track record of building teams and tackling big challenges, will ensure that MPCSD remains the responsive, learner-centered, innovative district it is known to be,” wrote Parke Treadway in a press release.
A formal contract will be considered by the Board at the March 25 meeting. Opportunity for Board discussion and public comment will occur on March 25, and the Board will vote on the appointment at that meeting.
InMenlo file photo of Simone Rick-Kennel (c) 2015; photo of Kristen Gracia courtesy of MPCSD.