Natomas Principal Resigns Midyear

The midyear resignation of the Jefferson School principal was announced earlier this week.

Teachers and staff were notified on Jan. 19 principal Tiffany Smith-Simmons would be leaving her post at Jefferson Elementary School. Parents learned the news by way of a recorded telephone message that same evening from Howard Kornblum, assistant superintendent of educational services.
“We are appreciative of Ms. Smith-Simmons work as Jefferson’s principal and wish her good luck with her new job,” Natomas school board president Bruce Roberts told The Natomas Buzz.

According to Kornblum, Smith-Simmons has accepted an instructional coach job at the Sacramento Unified School District where she worked prior to being hired as a first-time principal for Jefferson Elementary School. (Shortly after the 2010-11 school year, Smith-Simmons was featured in a USA Today article about the impact of class size on student performance.)

Jefferson Elementary School, now a K-6 campus in South Natomas, is in program improvement for not meeting standardized test score targets in 2009-10. Jefferson was one of three elementary schools in the Natomas district with new principals this year.
American Lakes Elementary School teacher Paul Guyer has been tapped as the interim principal to replace Smith-Simmons for the remainder of the 2010-11 school year. Guyer has taught a number of grade levels at American Lakes the past 10 years. He has also served as the teacher in charge, an academic alignment coach, a PTA liaison and also provided professional development throughout the school district on effective English learner instructional strategies.

“The principal sets the course for what the culture is like at a school,” added Roberts. “Ms. Smith-Simmons was doing good stuff and I am sad to see her go.”

The Natomas district plans to hold a community meeting to introduce Guyer. Plans are to recruit, and hire, a new principal this spring to assume the position starting the 2011-12 school year.

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