Local News

School board hires two principals, special education director

By From page A3 | May 17, 2013

The Davis school board filled three administrative posts on Thursday evening, hiring principals for Pioneer Elementary and King High School, and a new director of special education.

Matthew Duffy will be the new principal at Pioneer. Duffy has served as vice principal at Harper Junior High in Davis since 2008. He also served a stint as interim principal at Montgomery Elementary in Davis earlier this year.

Prior to coming to the Davis school district, Duffy was a social science teacher at C.A. Jacobs Intermediate School in Dixon from 1995 through 2008, including several years as department chair. He also served as coordinator of the BTSA program (Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment) in the Dixon district from 2002 through 2008.

Duffy earned a master’s degree in education, curriculum and instruction (with an emphasis in professional development) at Sacramento State in 2009. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in international business in 1992 at San Diego State.

The new principal at King High School will be Jeff Rogers, who most recently served as an assistant principal at Skyline High School in Oakland. From 2006 through 2010, Rogers was a middle school principal and English teacher at Esparto Middle School. He also was principal at C.A. Jacobs Middle School in Dixon from 2002 through 2005 and the intervention coordinator with the Winters school district from 2000 through 2002.

Rogers earned a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from UC Davis, and a bachelor’s in English language and literature from UC Riverside. He is enrolled in the Ed.D. program at UC Berkeley. He was honored by the Yolo County Office of Education for his work in the Migrant Education Center After-School Program in 2002.

The new director of special education is Patrick McGrew, who has been a program specialist  in special education with the Davis district since 2008. Previously, McGrew was a special education teacher at Davis High School from 1999 through 2008, serving as vice principal for the summer school program at Davis High in 2007.

He also was a summer school teacher in the Davis district for several years between 2000 and 2006, and was a special education teacher at Patwin and Chávez elementary schools in Davis from 1998 through 2000. In the 1990s, he also taught in the Rio Linda school district.

McGrew has a master’s degree from Sacramento State, in addition to several teaching credentials from that university. He earned a bachelor’s degree in art at Sacramento State in 1989, and was on the Dean’s Honor List.

Elsewhere on Thursday night’s agenda, the Davis school board approved the school district’s proposed technology plan. Kim Wallace, director of instructional technology, told the trustees that at least $1.5 million in funding would be needed as the district installs wireless technology and upgrades data storage.

Wallace advised the board that much of the district’s current technology infrastructure is so antiquated that replacement parts and software to fix up current systems can be difficult to locate.

The school district is focusing on technology as the state prepares to transition from the current system of annual paper-and-pencil STAR tests, assessing students’ academic performance each spring, to a new set of online tests that will be aligned to the Common Core academic standards adopted by the State Board of Education about two years ago.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s May budget revision, announced Tuesday, included a proposal to allocate about $170 per pupil to school districts to help with implementation of the new Common Core standards.

Thursday’s agenda also included an update on the local implementation of those standards by Associate Superintendent Clark Bryant. Bryant and Wallace indicated that the district would be seeking community input regarding how the Davis school district should use the state funds to implement the standards.

The board also heard an update on this year’s pilot project at Davis High, which saw students taking fall-semester final exams in December, rather than January. Staff told trustees that a survey indicates students enjoyed a more restful and less stressful holiday break as a result.

Staff is recommending that the school district move high school finals into December on a permanent basis, and also try to align the school district’s spring break with the spring break at UC Davis. Trustee Tim Taylor said it was “crazy” for the school district not to align spring break with the university, but he expressed no enthusiasm for starting the Davis school district’s academic year earlier than the third week of August. Trustee Nancy Peterson, on the other hand, said she was willing to consider an earlier start.

— Reach Jeff Hudson at [email protected] or 530-747-8055. 


Jeff Hudson

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