The San Ramon Valley school board appointed local assistant principal Sandra Kontilis as the new principal for Alamo's Rancho Romero Elementary School last week.
Kontilis was among four administrative appointments board members made during their May 23 meeting in Danville.
They also voted to hire Nicole "Nikki" Chaplan as assistant principal of San Ramon's Pine Valley Middle School and Rhonda Taft and Zandra Texeira as program supervisors of special education.
The board also talked in closed session about filling three other administrative vacancies: chief business officer, chief technology officer and director of educational services. No hiring decisions were made for those positions last week.
Sandra Kontilis, principal of Rancho Romero
This will be Kontilis' first full principal job when she takes the reins for the 2017-18 school year, after serving in many different roles in the district, from teacher to committee leader to assistant principal and even a stint as acting principal. She is replacing current Rancho Romero principal Skye Larsh-Faraghan, who is retiring.
Kontilis has been a sixth grade core teacher at Pine Valley Middle School, an elementary summer school principal and a teacher on special assignment.
Currently, Kontilis works as assistant principal at Alamo's Stone Valley Middle School, a post she's held since 2014. In this role, she has directed the school's special education program, was in charge of state testing and implemented restorative practices. She also served as acting principal at Stone Valley when the principal was on leave.
She holds a master's degree in administrative leadership from Saint Mary's College, a bachelor's degree in business administration-accounting, a multiple subject teaching credential and a Tier I Administrative Service Credential.
Nikki Chaplan, assistant principal at Pine Valley
Chaplan will assume the role of assistant principal of San Ramon's Pine Valley Middle School next school year, after 13 years as an English teacher at Monte Vista High School in Danville.
She has also served as a literacy teacher on special assignment at Monte Vista since 2013, a role in which she focused on Common Core implementation, inclusion, culturally and linguistically responsive teaching, and Response to Intervention, a method of identifying and supporting students with learning and behavioral needs.
Chaplan has been a part of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges leadership team at Monte Vista, mentors beginning teachers, works with the AVID program and recently finished the district's leadership development program.
She holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of the Pacific, a single subject credential in English and a master's degree in educational leadership with an administrative services credential from Brandman University.
Rhonda Taft, special education program supervisor
Taft, who has been brought on as program supervisor for special education, has worked as a special education teacher and specialist in the district since 2003, currently serving as a resource specialist at Stone Valley Middle School.
She has aided teachers throughout the district in areas such as culturally responsive teaching, inclusion, Response to Intervention, special education and curriculum development.
From 2014-16, Taft paused her special education teaching to become an intervention/inclusion specialist for the district's middle and high schools, helping both special education and general education teachers with their educational practices. She's also spent time as an administrative teacher on special assignment for summer school and as a special education department chair.
Taft holds a bachelor's degree in liberal studies from Cal State Hayward, a Clear Level II Education Specialist Credential, and is presently finishing her master's degree in educational leadership at Cal State, East Bay.
Zandra Texeira, special education program supervisor
Texeira was also appointed as a program supervisor of special education. She is currently an interim program supervisor in the department, and has been with the district since 2003, when she started working as a special education paraeducator while finishing her undergraduate degree.
She spent seven years as a resource specialist at the middle and high school levels, and has also served as a beginning teacher mentor, intervention teacher on special assignment and an instructional coach, helping teachers with their educational practices that best ensure that all students are on-track based on grade level standards.
Texeira has a bachelor's degree in psychology, an education specialist credential and a master's degree in education -- all from Chapman University.