Cas­taic High se­lects its lead­ers

The Signal - - News - By Bren­non Dix­son Sig­nal Staff Writer bdix­[email protected]­nalscv.com

The Santa Clarita Val­ley’s new­est high school has an­nounced the eight ed­u­ca­tors who will com­prise the school’s lead­er­ship team when it opens to stu­dents later this year.

When Cas­taic High School opens in fall 2019, the school will al­ready have nearly 10 mem­bers of its lead­er­ship team in place, ac­cord­ing to the Wil­liam S. Hart Dis­trict’s Cas­taic High School blog.

Sarah Avanes­sian will join the lead­er­ship team as the Eng­lish de­part­ment chair. Avanes­sian taught all lev­els of Eng­lish at Wil­liam S. Hart High School since 2002.

Through­out her ca­reer, Avanes­sian has worked with many dif­fer­ent stu­dent pop­u­la­tions, in­clud­ing some who would be the first in their fam­i­lies to go to col­lege, Hart Dis­trict of­fi­cials said. Cur­rently, she teaches Ad­vanced Place­ment Lan­guage and Com­po­si­tion and new­comer Eng­lish learn­ers.

Lori Her­melin will join the lead­er­ship team as a teacher li­brar­ian, ac­cord­ing to the blog. She brings more than 20 years of ex­pe­ri­ence to the po­si­tion, and will be tasked with cre­at­ing a li­brary that will en­cour­age a di­verse school pop­u­la­tion to ex­plore, dis­cover, in­vent and share.

Her­melin will be ex­pected to work with col­leagues to es­tab­lish pro­grams that de­velop eth­i­cal re­search skills, en­hance dig­i­tal cit­i­zen­ship, in­crease lit­er­acy skills and nur­ture a cul­ture of read­ers. She looks for­ward to grow­ing a pro­gram from scratch at Cas­taic High School, ac­cord­ing to dis­trict of­fi­cials.

As a life­long res­i­dent of the Santa Clarita Val­ley and a cur­rent res­i­dent of Cas­taic, Heather Kennedy said she looks for­ward to join­ing the lead­er­ship team as the spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ment chair.

Kennedy has served as a de­part­ment chair and in­ter­ven­tion co­or­di­na­tor at West Ranch High School and was se­lected as the West Ranch’s Teacher of the Year in the 2014-15 aca­demic year, the school web­site states.

Hav­ing re­cently as­sisted stu­dents of var­i­ous grade lev­els, in­clud­ing those who are di­ag­nosed with Asperger’s Syn­drome or High Func­tion­ing Autism, the Cas­taic High lead­er­ship team hopes Kennedy will bring a mul­ti­tude of pro­grams that were as im­pact­ful as the Yes I Can peer-men­tor­ing pro­gram that she helped es­tab­lish, which aimed to help stu­dents de­velop in­ter­per­sonal re­la­tion­ships that they could carry be­yond their high school years.

Cas­taic High School Prin­ci­pal Melanie Hag­man has pre­vi­ously dis­cussed a de­sire for the school to fo­cus on the “whole child,” and to of­fer pro­grams and coun­sel­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties that will ac­cel­er­ate stu­dent growth in ar­eas be­yond aca­demics.

Coun­selor Jibri Hodge will at­tempt to do just that by bring­ing more than 13 years of coun­sel­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to the Coy­ote’s cam­pus. As a col­le­giate, he par­tic­i­pated in foot­ball at Pierce Col­lege and the Uni­ver­sity of Ore­gon. Hodge has also coached foot­ball and track and field dur­ing his 13 years in the Hart Dis­trict.

Do­minic Mar­cu­cilli will be re­spon­si­ble for over­sight of the school’s as­so­ci­ated stu­dent body once he as­sumes the po­si­tion of ASB di­rec­tor for the still-un­der-con­struc­tion high school.

Mar­cu­cilli is ex­pected to work along­side Hag­man, As­sis­tant Prin­ci­pal Sarah Delawder and the rest of the lead­er­ship team, ac­cord­ing to the Cas­taic High blog. Mar­cu­cilli was hon­ored as Hart High School’s Teacher of the Year in 2014-15 and has re­ceived many other awards from lo­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tives and foun­da­tions. He cur­rently teaches Eng­lish as a spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion teacher at Hart High School.

Hav­ing worked as a French and Span­ish teacher for 16 years in the Hart Dis­trict, Vanessa Perez will head the de­part­ment for world lan­guages at Cas­taic High School, ac­cord­ing to Cas­taicHighS­chool.org.

Perez said she is ded­i­cated to mak­ing lan­guage learn­ing much more than just mem­o­riz­ing words or gram­mat­i­cal struc­tures.

Like Perez, Charles Deuschle hopes to use his pas­sion to ben­e­fit the stu­dents of Cas­taic High School when it opens in the fall.

Deuschle said he is thrilled to be join­ing the CHS lead­er­ship team as the prac­ti­cal arts de­part­ment chair and video pro­duc­tion in­struc­tor, ac­cord­ing to the blog. In his 17 years with the Hart Dis­trict, Deuschle has di­ver­si­fied him­self in the ar­eas of Eng­lish, the­ater, pro­duc­tion and broad­cast jour­nal­ism.

When Golden Val­ley High School opened in 2005, he was se­lected to cre­ate the video pro­duc­tion pro­gram from the ground up and over the past 15 years, he has con­tin­ued to grow and re­fine the video cur­ricu­lum, of­fi­cials said.

The fi­nal po­si­tion on the lead­er­ship team will be held by Joe Br­usca, who cur­rently teaches fine art and ceram­ics at Hart High School. Br­usca will serve as Cas­taic’s di­rec­tor of fine arts.

Sig­nal file photo

Sarah Delawder, left, and Melanie Hag­man head up the Cas­taic High School lead­er­ship team as as­sis­tant prin­ci­pal and prin­ci­pal, re­spec­tively.

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