Familiar faces in new places

Photo by Leonard COUTIN A glimpse of the quiet before the storm at CVHS when students line up for their class schedules, rush to get books and lockers and catch up with friends. School begins on Aug. 30 across Glendale Unified School District.

New principals take the reins at Crescenta Valley High, Rosemont Middle and Fremont Elementary schools, but to many of the students, they’re old friends.

By Brandon HENSLEY

Spring and summer are usually reserved for big name free agents in basketball and football to make headlines by moving from one team to another. This year, however, several local area schools played the part of franchises who lured big names to be a part of their team, causing a ripple effect on the administrative level.

Now with fall approaching, it’s almost time to start playing the games (i.e. start the school year).

Crescenta Valley High will welcome its new principal, Michele Doll, who spent the last two years as principal of Rosemont Middle School. Cynthia Livingston will take Doll’s former post, as she previously occupied that same title at Fremont Elementary. Finally, Christin Walley, who spent the last couple of years as a Fremont teacher specialist, will become the school’s new principal.

If it was hard to keep up with the “offseason” movement, at least most of the students will be comfortable with who is running things.

Doll, who replaces long-time CV stalwart Linda Evans, took the job already having overseen  this year’s freshman and sophomore classes.

“To be able to go with all of my students, I thought that was such a unique opportunity that I couldn’t pass up,” she said.

CV endured retirements from many teachers this year, and Doll said the school has been in a hiring frenzy, collecting new English and science teachers. Aside from new hires, Doll has spent her summer going over the budget and planning staff development.

“I’ve spent a lot of time this summer just talking with people and learning about what everybody does, and what drives people,” she said.

Doll, who spent seven years as an administrator at Glendale High before Rosemont, said she is excited to be a part of CV’s culture. “I know that CV has a strong foundation of academic excellence,” she said. “I also know that they have a phenomenal athletic department and wonderful clubs for all the kids.”

Doll has also helped transition Livingston into her new role this summer. Livingston bounced back from injury last winter, after suffering injuries to her back and neck in a car accident (“It was a tough winter,” she admitted.) Now she must face the daily traffic of sugar-buzzed junior highers, even if she will know a lot of them coming from Fremont.

“Middle school kids are energizing,” she said. “They are a crack-up. I love them.”

Livingston said overcrowding isn’t a huge problem anymore, that Rosemont can accommodate for every student this year. She said she hopes to be a highly visible presence on campus.

“My expectation is lots and lots of supervision,” she said. “We’ve got parents that are going to be helping at snack and lunch time to increase the amount of supervision. I really believe strongly in being very, very visible as a principal so the kids know that I’m there to support them.”

Livingston said the move from Fremont to Rosemont has been a breeze so far.

“The transition has actually been very seamless because [Michele] did such a great job providing me with lots of history of programs, how they have worked on the focus of writing, how she’s been working with her department chairs,” she said.

“They really are a family up here.”

Now that Livingston has left Fremont after 13 years, Walley will take the reins, and it would seem she has the experience to be successful.

Walley sat in as acting principal when Livingston was on leave last winter. “I was kind of thrown into the position but it was probably the best thing that could have happened at the time,” she said.

“I am super excited. It’s a wonderful school … I’m very familiar with the culture of our campus so it’s a nice transition.”

Walley noted how excited she was that all of the teachers given pink slips by the district will be back, commenting on the recent news that Glendale Unified recently rescinded layoffs given to the area’s teachers, and said she has received great support from administrators at the district level.

Walley also said she will be anxious to get out of the office more and be around the kids like she did when she was a teacher. After all, visibility will be a theme for all three women as they start their new journeys.

“I’m hoping as a principal I’ll have more time to actually able to get out in the classroom and visit, watch instruction, work with students, and be able to get back to that,” she said.