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January 30, 2023
Victor Tam has been chosen as the Coordinator of English Language Learner Services at the San Mateo Foster City School District. For the last 12 years, he has been principal of Edwin and Anita Lee Newcomer School (San Francisco USD), which serves Chinese-speaking, newly arrived immigrant students and families. During his tenure, the city of San Francisco, school district and Chinatown community collaborated to rename the school from the Chinese Education Center to the Edwin and Anita Lee Newcomer School to honor the memory of the city’s first Chinese American mayor, Edwin Lee, and his wife, Anita Lee.
The Lompoc Unified School District’s board of trustees has named Clara Finneran as the district’s new superintendent in December.
Finneran previously served as Assistant Superintendent of Education in the Las Virgenes Unified School District since 2016.
Prior to her role at Las Virgenes, Finneran served as principal of Pleasant Valley School of Engineering and Arts. As principal, she favorably rebranded the school, refined its focus areas to include arts and engineering, increased base enrollment by almost 20 percent, expanded to middle school grade levels, introduced a makerspace, and achieved a near 1:1 student-to-technology ratio.
Finneran has also served as principal of James Monroe Middle School. There she initiated and executed the implementation of data-driven staff and student programs including professional learning communities, Response to Intervention, Advancement Via Individual Determination, and WEB orientation for sixth grade students. Finneran’s leadership resulted in an Academic Performance Index increase of 80 points.
Finneran received her doctorate from the University of Southern California. She holds two master’s degrees: one in education leadership from the University of San Francisco, and the other in teaching from the University of Portland. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and Spanish from the University of Notre Dame. Finneran began her career as a Spanish teacher and has taught English and English learners, and served as the Dean of Students at Burroughs High School in Sierra Sands USD. She is fluent in Spanish and American Sign Language.
Finneran extended her professional knowledge and insight from 2009-2014 at both regional and state levels through ACSA. She served as the East Kern Charter Secretary, Vice President and President. Her leadership continued as a member of the state Leadership Summit and state Strategic Planning teams, as well as the Middle Grades Council Region 11 Representative. She was the Region 11 Middle Grades Principal of the Year in 2014.
Santa Monica-Malibu Superintendent Ben Drati has been appointed Superintendent of Schools for the Bellflower Unified School District, effective January 2023. The BUSD Board of Education approved the appointment at its Nov. 17 board meeting.
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