Michele Borges

Michele Borges

The principal of a Tulare high school has been hired for the same job at the Santa Ynez Valley Union High School.

Michele Borges was named principal during the Santa Ynez Valley Union High School District Board of Education meeting Tuesday night.

Borges currently leads Mission Oak High School in the San Joaquin Valley city of Tulare. 

She will replace principal Mark Swanitz, who was not rehired for the job earlier this year.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Mrs. Borges as principal of SYVUHS,” said Superintendent Scott Cory.  “Where we have leadership needs for the future, she has the professional background and expertise to meet those needs.  

“She has a very strong background in curriculum and instruction, and has a proven track record of building strong relationships and teams,” Cory added.

Borges has 23 years working in secondary education, including as a math and computer science teacher, dean of students, vice principal and, for the past eight years, a high school principal.  

“I am honored to have been selected as principal for Santa Ynez Valley Union High School,” she said. “Words can’t express my excitement as I anticipate becoming a Pirate and meeting the staff, students, parents and community.

“I am looking forward to learning more about the great things happening at SYVUHS, and collaboratively working to nurture the greatness into excellence.”

Borges earned her bachelor’s degree in math and computer science from California State University, Fresno, and holds a master’s degree from Fresno Pacific University.

She has been passionate about career technical education, and had led development of a business academy and is involved in creating a protective services academy.

In a written statement, she said she believes that teacher growth and support and student learning are at the core of her action, adding this mindset should drive all decisions.

She will officially start her new position on July 1.

The Santa Ynez Valley high school has roughly 900 students who come from six feeder districts. 

In February, the school board unanimously voted against renewing Swanitz’s contract.

The decision also called for him to be reassigned to a certificated position within the scope of his credentials at the start of the 2020-21 school year.

Swanitz has been formally offered a teaching job, but had not accepted it as of Wednesday.

He has filled the principal job since 2010, and graduated from the school with the class of 1985.

Before coming to Santa Ynez as an administrator, Swanitz was the principal at Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta from 2006 to 2010.

Swanitz, who earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Cal Poly, previously worked for schools in Fair Oaks, Elk Grove, Atascadero and Coalinga.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at jscully@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.