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Karen Rotondi Named Principal of Ernest Righetti High School in Santa Maria

She has served in the position on an interim basis since last summer

Karen Rotondi has been promoted to principal of Ernest Righetti High School in Santa Maria. She served as an assistant principal at the school for five years before becoming interim principal last June.
Karen Rotondi has been promoted to principal of Ernest Righetti High School in Santa Maria. She served as an assistant principal at the school for five years before becoming interim principal last June. (Santa Maria Joint Union High School District photo)

A familiar face has been named principal of Ernest Righetti High School after holding the job on an interim basis since the summer.

Karen Rotondi’s promotion was announced Tuesday night during the Santa Maria Joint Union School District board of education meeting.

She had served as an administrator for the past six years.

“It is a privilege and honor to serve the students, staff and Righetti community," Rotondi said. “The educational model is changing in both instruction and technology, and I am excited to continue to be a part of a team that embraces moving forward in meeting the needs of today’s students."

Superintendent Dr. Mark Richardson said Rotondi has the skills and dedication for the job.

“She’s handled some very stressful situations in a positive manner during the past several months," Richardson said. “We believe she is the right person to lead Righetti into the future.’’

She succeeds previous Principal Steve Molina, who last summer became coordinator of the district’s Local Control Funding Formula Task Force. He had been the school’s top administrator since 2007.

She held the interim job in the fall when multiple altercations erupted on campus and turned into a melee with students throwing food at sheriff’s deputies. Nine students landed behind bars and unsubstantiated reports led to the school’s early release for the Thanksgiving break.

Earlier this year, the campus mourned the loss of senior Breanna Rodriguez, who was killed in a traffic accident on East Donovan Road. 

Righetti High School, which opened in 1963, has approximately 2,150 students. 

Rotondi has been an educator for the 19 years. She served as an assistant principal at Righetti for five years before becoming interim principal last June. 

She is married and has two sons. One is a teacher and the other attends college.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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