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Retirements Prompt Senior Staffer Shake-up at School District

The school district is accepting applicants for a spending advisory panel. (File Photo)

School district superintendent Sean McPhetridge is re-organizing the educational services department. (File Photo)

Alameda Unified School District superintendent Sean McPhetridge announced last week a restructuring of the district’s educational services department.

Under the reorganization, the Assistant Superintendent, who manages the department, along with the three directors, one each for Teaching & Learning, Student Services, and Special Education, will be replaced by a Chief Academic Officer and a Chief Student Support Officer.

McPhetridge has appointed Steven Fong, currently Director of Teaching & Learning, to the Chief Academic Officer position.

Fong, who received a BA in Integrative Biology and an MA in Education from UC Berkeley, began his career as a science teacher at Berkeley High School before joining the faculty of Alameda Science and Technology Institute (ASTI). He went on to serve as dean of ASTI for three years. He became AUSD’s Director of Teaching & Learning in 2013.

Kirsten Zazo, currently principal of Encinal Jr. & Sr. High School, has been appointed to the Chief Student Support Officer position. Zazo received her BA in Liberal Studies from Cal State Hayward and did graduate work at Saint Mary’s College. She was a teacher at both Lum Elementary School and Chipman Middle School before becoming assistant principal of Chipman. She was hired as AUSD’s Coordinator of Student Services in 2010. After serving as the Director of Student Services, she became principal at Encinal High School in 2013.

The reorganization was spurred by the planned departure of several senior staffers.

Assistant superintendent Barbara Adams is resigning at the end of the school year and director of special education Susan Mitchell is retiring at the same time. Former director of student services Kelly Lara resigned in January.

The Board of Trustees is expected to confirm the appointments of Fong and Zazo at its next meeting, March 22, 2016, upon which they will begin their new positions on July 1.

The district has formed a search committee to conduct a formal search process to find a replacement for Zazo as principal of Encinal.

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