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Santa Barbara District Board Selects New Principal for La Cuesta, Alta Vista Schools

On a 5-0 vote at Tuesday night's meeting, the Santa Barbara Unified School District Board of Education selected Elise Simmons as the new principal of La Cuesta Continuation School and Alta Vista Alternative High School.

Simmons
Elise Simmons

Effective July 1, she will replace Frann Wageneck, who will be assuming her new role as the district’s assistant superintendent of student services.

Simmons joined the Santa Barbara Unified School District in 1999 as a social science teacher at La Cumbre Junior High School. In 2002, she joined the Santa Barbara Junior High staff, teaching social science and AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination). During her time at Santa Barbara Junior High, she served as a teacher on special assignment as well as the district-wide coordinator for AVID. In school year 2011-2012 she became an assistant principal at Santa Barbara High School.

Simmons attended UC Santa Barbara, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and religious studies and then went on to earn a master’s degree in education. She is currently working toward her doctorate in educational leadership.

“I am very excited about this opportunity to be part of the faculty, students and families that make La Cuesta and Alta Vista a great place to work and school to attend," Simmons said. "Having spent the past four years at Santa Barbara High School, La Cuesta and Alta Vista have a special place in my heart because of the different opportunities the schools provide for our students. I look forward to continuing the hard work that Ms. Wageneck and the staff have done to ensure that La Cuesta and Alta Vista provide an excellent education to all students, making them college and career ready.”

The salary range for the position is $114,619 to $128,170.

La Cuesta Continuation High School is a comprehensive alternative education program offering a variety of instructional options to meet the educational needs of students. Classes are kept small to allow interaction and an exchange of ideas between students and teachers and between students themselves. As well as cooperative and collaborative classroom activities, each student’s individual educational needs are recognized and incorporated into the structured school day.

Alta Vista Alternative High School, an alternative school of choice, serves the following student populations:

» traditional independent study students (working, professional athletes or musicians, or unique circumstances necessitating independent study);

» Middle College students;

» parenting minors (credit current or credit deficient), students who do not have daily child care available;

» home school students; and

» students choosing independent study as an instructional strategy best meeting their individual needs.

— Barbara Keyani is the communication coordinator for the Santa Barbara Unified School District.

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