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El Portal Welcomes New Administrators
There's a new leadership team on the job at Escalon's El Portal Middle School, with Mark Vos taking over as principal and district newcomer Alison Sharkey named as the assistant principal.

For Vos, the move was a natural progression, moving to the principal's post from his previous position as the assistant principal at Escalon High School.

"It's an excellent step," Vos said of assuming leadership at the school. "There are a lot of new challenges, which is good, and I'm definitely enjoying those challenges."

Vos said he is excited about working with an excellent staff at El Portal, which also includes several new teachers this year.

"It's a great staff and a great student body," he said, adding that he's not particularly surprised by the caliber of student that the middle school is turning out.

"Being at the high school four years, I've been seeing what's been coming in," he noted of students transitioning from the middle school campus to the high school level.

Previously a high school teacher and coach at Ripon Christian, Vos taught science for 11 years and coached, among other sports, varsity girls basketball. He also started a girls golf program for the school and coached soccer.

He has a Masters degree from National University and comes from a family of educators, with his father working as a middle school administrator for several years. Vos also feels his time working at Escalon High was a good way to prepare for his current post, taking that experience with him.

"One of my main duties there (high school) was student activities, here that will be Mrs. Sharkey, but I'll be involved with the students," he said.

The administrative side of his job will be balanced out by that contact with students and Vos said he's eager to help all students at El Portal reach their potential.

He also started out the year by meeting with all the staff, getting their input and suggestions for creating a better learning environment.