New principals will be sought for two of Murrieta's public high schools because one principal has decided to retire and the other is being promoted, it was announced Tuesday.
Murrieta Valley High School Principal Renate Jefferson will retire at the end of this school year, while Vista Murrieta High School Principal Darren Daniel will begin serving as Murrieta Valley Unified's director of secondary education, District Spokeswoman Karen Parris stated in a news release.
Jefferson, who spent 30 years an educator—the last 13 as principal at Murrieta Valley—made the announcement to her staff on Monday. Jefferson said leading Murrieta Valley High School has been a great honor and privilege.
"I love the sense of community and being a part of the Nighthawk family," Jefferson said. "Each day I learned something new from staff, students and parents, and I have appreciated their tremendous work ethic, love for students, enthusiasm, creativity and dedication to excellence."
Jefferson came to the district in 1991 as a high school English teacher. Before taking over as principal of Murrieta Valley in 2000, she had served as the district’s child welfare and attendance coordinator, assistant principal at Murrieta Valley, assistant principal at Creekside High School and the adult education principal.
"Mrs. Jefferson’s positive energy and unwavering commitment to always do what is best for her students and the district will be missed," District Superintendent Pat Kelley stated. "I am excited for her as she takes on what is sure to be an active and fulfilling retirement."
Sentiments were also expressed about Daniel's departure from Vista Murrieta, a campus he began serving as the assistant principal for when it opened in 2003 and was appointed principal of in 2006. He said serving the Vista Murrieta community as principal has been more of a lifestyle for him than a career.
“The school, the staff, the kids and parents make VMHS a special place and although my departure in July will be bittersweet, I am excited and honored to be granted this new opportunity to influence and support the secondary schools within the Murrieta Valley Unified School District," Daniel said.
Prior to coming to the district in 2002, Daniel taught, coached and served as an athletic director. In his new position, Daniel will be responsible for oversight of the district’s secondary instructional program at the district’s middle schools, high schools and adult school program.
“As the district moves toward adopting the common core curriculum, Daniel will oversee staff development, curriculum development, state and federal assessments, teacher support, school staffing and secondary school site issues," Kelley said. "Mr. Daniel helped establish and maintain a world CLASS educational experience for the students at Vista Murrieta and with his knowledge, administrative experience, leadership and organizational skills, I am confident that he will ensure that the district continues to offer a premier 21st century educational experience for all our secondary students."
The district’s director of curriculum and instruction position, currently filled by Char Gollogly, will be restructured to provide oversight for the district’s elementary instructional program when Daniel assumes his new position of director of secondary education. Their new positions are effective July 1, according to the news release.
As for filling the vacancies for Murrieta Valley and Vista Murrieta, Parris said the district will conduct an inclusive process for the selection of the new principals.
"Parents, students, faculty and staff are invited to provide their input on the selection of the new principals by going to the schools’ websites and completing a Principal Selection Survey," Parris said. "Focus groups comprised of parents, faculty and staff will then analyze the results of the surveys and provide their input."
District Spokeswoman Karen Parris can be reached at 951-696-1600, ext. 1022 with any questions.