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September 19, 2022
Bree Valla has been selected as Superintendent/Principal of Vista Del Mar Union School District. During her career in education, Valla has served as an Agriculture teacher, Math/Science teacher, Instructional Coach, Principal, Director, Assistant Superintendent, and most recently Deputy Superintendent, Human Resources and Education Services, in Lompoc Unified School District, where she has worked for 22 years. In 2020, Valla was honored as ACSA Region 13’s Human Resources Administrator of the year.
During the Aug. 9, 2022, Lodi Unified School District Board of Education Meeting, the board announced the appointment of Neil Young to the position of Associate Superintendent effective Aug. 15. It was also announced that upon the retirement of Cathy Nichols-Washer, Young would assume the role of Superintendent.
Young joined Lodi Unified in 1998 as a sixth-grade teacher at Vinewood Elementary School. Throughout his tenure, Young has served as a teacher, Vice Principal, Principal, Director of Personnel, and most recently as the Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education. In that capacity, he oversaw 32 elementary schools, providing leadership to over 13,000 students.
Young received his Bachelor of Arts and his Master of Arts from Saint Mary’s College of California. He received his teaching credential from the University of the Pacific and administrative services credential from Saint Mary’s College of California.
Young will succeed Nichols-Washer, who will retire at the end of the 2022-23 school year, after 15 years of service as the Lodi Unified Superintendent and 20 years in a superintendent position. Nichols-Washer is currently one of the longest-serving superintendents in California.
Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Superintendent Ben Drati announces the following administrators on the move.
New administrators: Stacy Williamson, Director – Assessment, Research and Evaluation; Jose Cuevas, House Principal – Samohi; Cindy Smith, Assistant Principal – Malibu HS; Farnoosh Aguilar – Assistant Principal – JAMS; Daniela Wiener, Assistant Principal – McKinley and Grant Elementary; Gabriela Gonzalez, Assistant Principal – Rogers Elementary; Madison Braverman, School Psychologist; Carolina Edelstein, School Psychologist; Susana Ponce Jauregui, School Psychologist; Trent Holloway, Plant Manager – Operations.
Administrators in new roles: Isaac Burgess, Executive Director – Malibu Pathway; Steve Richardson, Executive Director – Elementary; Antonio Shelton, Executive Director – Secondary; Marae Cruce, Principal – Samohi; Cynthia McGregory, Principal – Olympic; Martha Chacon, Principal – JAMS; Ryan Bourke, Principal – Lincoln; Lila Daruty, Principal – Will Rogers; Paula Lytz, Principal on Special Assignment – Ed Services; Satinder Hawkins, House Principal – Samohi; Tristen Gartrell, Coordinator – New Teacher Induction; Wendy Wax, Interim Principal – Franklin; Michael Smith, Interim Principal – Webster.
Richard “Dick” Schlagel passed away on June 15, 2022 at the age of 95. Schlagel believed fiercely in the power of ACSA and worked tirelessly throughout his 50-year membership to promote and support the association and its members, particularly those in his beloved Region 11.
Schlagel joined ACSA as a charter member in 1971 and became a life member following his retirement. He served as Region 11 President in 1981-82 and also held a three-year term on the State Junior High Committee and the Retirement Committee.
He became the Region 11 Newsletter Editor in 1987, serving in that position for 29 years. His goal as editor was to keep the membership informed of various events and activities within both the region and the five local charters. He also wanted to use the newsletter to recognize scores of outstanding administrators and what they were doing across the vast five-county area Region 11 serves.
Schlagel retired as Newsletter Editor in 2016. At his retirement party, Bill Black spoke about the dynamic duo of Dick Schlagel and David Itzenhauser, fondly likening them to Batman and Robin. The two men were friends and colleagues for 63 years, until Itzenhauser’s passing in November 2017.
Schlagel suggested the Itzenhauser/Schlagel Award to recognize those retirees who served the region at a high level. Since its inception in 2014, Schlagel has always been on hand to personally present the award. This year, just weeks prior to his passing, he presented the award to David Bowling and Blanca Cavazos. And, true to form, his quick wit and sense of humor were clearly evident.
“To the end, Dick was devoted to ACSA and our profession,” said Bowling. “He was an eternal optimist and never stopped following his passions even while his body was slowing him down.”
Schlagel has written a number of books, most recently one on leadership. He grew up in an orphanage, served in the Navy during World War II, graduated from Slippery Rock State Teacher College in Pennsylvania, and moved to California when he was hired as a teacher in Porterville. He went on to earn a master’s degree from USC. He enjoyed playing softball in the city league as a pitcher. When he retired as a middle school principal, the school decided to name the gymnasium after him. He continued to work in interim administrative positions after he retired.
“Dick was a friend, someone I looked up to and I learned a lot from him during the many hours of travel with him to ACSA meetings throughout the region,” said Region 11 Executive Director David Tonini. “His creativity, intellect, and sense of humor were second to none.”
Dick Schlagel, right, passed away on June 15, 2022 at the age of 95.
It is with great sadness that ACSA Region 16 and LAUSD - Retired charter announce the passing of beloved longtime member and friend Lanny Nelms on July 25, 2022 after serving in various positions with LAUSD for 51 years.
Nelms joined ACSA in 1974. He was a passionate advocate for public education and the students who attended community schools. Nelms rarely missed Region 16 meetings during his 48 years as an ACSA member.
Nelms began his career in education in 1971 as a Social Studies Teacher and moving as a Guidance Counselor at San Pedro High School. He then served as Assistant Principal at Fairfax, Carson, Banning Community Schools, and Friedman Community School where he served as Assistant Principal from 1980 to 2002. He retired from at Harbor Community School where he served from 2002 to 2011.
Nelms leaves a legacy of gracious leadership and Region 16 will truly miss our “Pioneer Leader” and friend.
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