New faces coming to VUSD for 2022-2023 school year

Visalia Unified is kicking off the school year by promoting and hiring staff members for 21 positions

VISALIA—Visalia Unified School District (VUSD) hires old and new staff members to various positions to start off the upcoming school year.

The Visalia Unified school year for 2022-2023 will begin on Aug. 11 with some familiar and fresh faces in new positions. 

According to Kimberly Batty, public information officer, the decision for VUSD to add more staff was part of a long-term strategy from the district, as directed by the VUSD Board of Education. The hiring process was done with thought and intention, as the system to hire high-quality teachers, administrators and support staff takes time. Also, as VUSD employees advance to new positions in the district, human resources are constantly filling open positions. This recruitment process is not unusual within large school districts as they prepare for a new school year. 

VUSD also has a new superintendent, Kirk Shrum. The search for a VUSD superintendent began in September 2021 and was a nationwide recruitment led by Tim Hire, superintendent for the Tulare County of Education. Through the nationwide search, Shrum was identified as the top candidate and appointed to the board on March 8.

Shrum said it was clear from the superintendent search survey results that priority needed to go to academics, communication and safety for schools. As the superintendent, Shrum said it’s important to focus the district toward addressing those important areas. 

“I am pleased that in the process of doing so, many internal candidates have been promoted to both school and district level positions. We have attracted high-quality external talent as well,” Shrum said. “Our district is always looking to recruit both internally and externally the right people to do the best work for our students. They deserve nothing less.”

There were a total of 21 positions either being filled by staff or hired on as new recruits, with eight principals, seven administrators and six directors.

Principals

Carrie Kears will be the principal for Four Creeks Elementary School; Megan Pezzi will be the principal for Veva Blunt Elementary School; Bo Yang will be principal of Crowley Elementary School; Nikki Jimenez will be principal of Hurley Elementary; and Brittney Guerrero will be principal of Washington Elementary.

Amanda Richard, Ed.D, will be principal of Redwood High School and Carli Hawkins will be principal of Visalia Charter Independent Study (VCIS).

David Pasquini will be the new principal of Green Acres Middle School.

Administrators

Judy Burgess, Ed.D., will serve as Administrator of Human Resources Development; Andre Pecina will serve as Administrator of Outreach and Communication; Andy Di Meo will serve as Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services; Ben Dhillon will serve as Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources; and Natali Garza, Matthew Shin and Elizabeth Serrato will serve as Area Administrators.

Directors

Serena Arias, Ed.D., will be the Director of Human Resources Development; Daniel Bishop will be the Director of Visual and Performing Arts; John Perez will be the Director of Athletic Programs; Leticia Trevino will be the Director of Early Childhood Education; Terri Martindale, Ed.D., will be the Director of Educational Services; and Tina Shirley will be the Director of Special Education.

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