It’s another exciting year for Escalon Unified students and staff. In addition to hiring 18 new teachers and 10 support staff, three Escalon schools are welcoming new principal leaders.
Eric Simoni, new principal at Escalon High School, joins our district after nearly 20 years at East Union High in the Manteca Unified School District. Starting his career as a history teacher and coach, Mr. Simoni was the school’s athletic director before being promoted to vice principal in 2009. His extensive administrative experience and varied curricular background are a welcome addition to the strong leadership team at Escalon High.
New to Van Allen Elementary is Julio Zambrano who was most recently with the Empire Union School District. Mr. Zambrano has been an elementary educator for more than 16 years, teaching kindergarten, first, second and fourth grades. Mr. Zambrano’s diverse background in education includes curriculum development, educational technology and instructional strategies which will benefit students at Van Allen and throughout our district.
George Megenney, new principal at Vista High School, is familiar to many Escalon students and staff. Megenney taught Spanish at Escalon High for the last 10 years, and was selected as our district’s Teacher of the Year in 2016. In addition to serving as Vista’s principal, Mr. Megenney will be working with the Escalon High leadership team and continue to teach Spanish part-time.
In addition to our positive personnel additions, there are major changes behind the scenes as well. To ensure that our schools are equipped to meet the technological demands of the 21st century, we completed a significant infrastructure upgrade over the summer. We improved our network cabling at all sites and all classrooms now have full wireless capability. On the facilities side, Collegeville School received a new water system and Dent Elementary and Farmington Elementary are looking fresh with a new coat of paint. We believe upgrading our student and staff learning and working environments is a crucial element to academic success.
Our commitment to improvement is showing signs of success. In this second year of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) exam, our results are promising. Our students demonstrated growth rates of 5.8 percent in English Language Arts and 4.4 percent in math. While this is a positive step forward, our schools and our instructional staff will continue to work diligently to “...ensure all students learn at high levels.”
Principally Speaking is a monthly article, contributed by principals or administrators from the Escalon Unified School District, throughout the school year. It is designed to update the community on school events and activities.