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Principal starts at Rancho Pico Junior High School

Posted: November 23, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 23, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Math teacher Christy Foster, center, shoves away history teacher Doug Smith, left, as principal Erum Jones cheers during a lunchtime game of musical chairs at Rancho Pico Junior High School in Stevenson Ranch on Tuesday.

Erum Jones calls her position as the new principal of Rancho Pico Junior High School a “dream come true.”

Jones, who has worked in the William S. Hart Union High School District for more than a decade, officially assumed her new position earlier this month.

Reached by phone this week, Jones said it is too early to identify any challenges specific to Rancho Pico that she will have to address during her tenure.

But, she said, one of the largest problems facing education at large is students not being taught adequate critical-thinking skills.

“It’s not important enough just to have knowledge; it’s important to be able to apply that knowledge,” Jones said.

Jones also said she thinks it is as important to prepare students for the future as to educate them in the present.

“I’ve developed a really good understanding of what kids need at the high school level to be successful and the college level to be successful,” Jones said.

“So I think it would be neat to really start giving junior high kids the fundamentals, building that foundation, so they’ve got the confidence to succeed at the next level.”

The position at Rancho Pico became available after the previous principal, Michele Krantz, was promoted to be director of special programs in the Hart district during an Oct. 3 school board meeting.

District spokeswoman Gail Pinsker said it is common practice for the district to fill principal positions internally, usually by promoting someone who is already an assistant principal in the district.

“The reason for this is that current administrators are familiar with the culture of the district, what the district stands for and are familiar with policies and internal and external resources,” Pinsker explained.

Jones was an assistant principal at Hart High School before taking the position at Rancho Pico.

School board members unanimously approved Jones for the job during the board’s Nov. 7 meeting.

Before taking the job at Rancho Pico, Jones worked as a math teacher at Canyon High School and was part of the founding faculty team that helped open Golden Valley High School.



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