April 24: OUSD names new school heads

4 24 Javier RamirezOjai Unified School District board members unanimously voted in new principals at Matilija Middle School, Chaparral High School and Summit School and a new Special Education director, at their special  school board meeting held via Zoom on Friday. The meeting can be viewed at:
4 24 OUSD Chris Murpy
The school board announced the following changes:
— Matilija Middle School Principal Javier Ramirez will be the new principal of Chaparral High School and teach.
— Chris Murphy, assistant principal at Ventura High School, will be the new Matilija Middle School principal.
4 24 OUSD Kelley Stone— Kelley Stone will be the new assistant principal at Matilija.
— Robin Monson will add the Summit School principalship to her job as principal at San Antonio School.



4 24 Katrina Madden
— Katrina Madden will be the new Special Education director.
Retiring are Special Education Director Rebecca Kirkland; Chaparral High School Principal and Independent School Director Becky Beckett; and Assistant Matilija Middle School Principal Carol Paquette.



4 24 20 Robin Monson
Dawn Damianos will continue as principal at Topa Topa Elementary School.


Chris Murphy

Murphy, who has been assistant principal at Ventura High for three years, said he is "exhilarated" and "humbled" to be hired to lead Matilija Middle Scool. The educator, who grew up in Simi Valley and Moorpark, said he looks forward to "growing an inclusive culture for each and every student and staff member."
Murphy has been a teacher and administrator at several school districts over the last 25 years, including Fillmore and Los Angeles Unified. He also served for four years as a Peace Corps teacher and administrator in Malawi and Nepal.

Kelley Stone

Stone has more than 20 years of experience as a teacher and principal. She said her experience will, "hopefully, be able to complement what Chris brings to the table. I am very thankful."


Kristina Madden

Madden is interim Special Education director at Oxnard School District and has 20 years of experience as a special education teacher and administrator. "I am thrilled and can't wait to get started," she told the board, noting she has big shoes to fill with Rebecca Kirkland retiring.


At its Feb. 12 meeting, the school board had announced that Ramirez would become principal of Topa Topa Elementary School and lead the development of a Spanish-language acquisition pilot program for the coming school year as the district explores a future dual-language immersion program.

It was also announced that Damianos would lead district online programs and coordinate instruction, assessment and other projects at the district office.
However, those plans changed with Beckett's retirement and "new budget uncertainty due to the COVID-19 crisis," according to an OUSD press release.
Damianos will remain as principal at Topa Topa "to reduce district administrative positions in anticipation of decreased funding in the fall due to COVID-19," according to the press release.
"OUSD will work to find alternative ways of administering the new Spanish language acquisition program," according to the press release.


The school board removed agenda item 5.1 regarding an agreement with Sage real estate.


It also scheduled two board meetings, one on May 6 to start at 5 p.m. to discuss the future of the district property at 414 E. Ojai Ave., and another on May. 20 at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the OUSD budget.

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