The school board has appointed three administrators to fill key positions throughout the district.

Debra Washington was selected as the new assistant superintendent of human resources, replacing Mike Matthews, who left this spring to become superintendent of Manhattan Beach schools.

Steven Richardson was appointed the new principal at Will Rogers Learning Community, assuming a position once held by Irma Lyons, a 17-year veteran of the school district who died last year after a long battle with cancer.

The school board also appointed Victoria Hurst to serve as a special education coordinator after the previous coordinator left to the special education program at a neighboring district. There are four special ed coordinators in the district.

“I would like to welcome all three to our management team and know that they will help take their respective departments/schools to the next level,” Superintendent Tim Cuneo said.

Washington comes to SMMUSD from the Sequoia Union High School District, where she has been serving as the assistant superintendent for human resources and teacher induction for the past 11 years. Prior to that, Washington served as Sequoia’s director of instruction and assessment and as the director/principal of summer session. She has also taught math, English, and social studies. As assistant superintendent for H.R., she initiated the in-house teacher induction program, bringing both veteran and new teachers together in collaborative groups, district officials said.

Washington is well-versed in board policy and the education code, labor group negotiations, employee orientation and training, teacher induction, budget development, and administrative training, district officials said.

Washington will be in charge of hiring and training teachers and other district staff.

Richards comes to the district from the Lawndale Elementary School District, where he has served as director of Extended Day Programs (Realizing Amazing Potential — R.A.P.) for nearly two years.

Collaboration comes naturally to Richardson, who, as the director of the before and after school programs, works directly with the middle and high school principals to align curriculum, builds partnerships with outside organizations, and works directly with school communities, Cuneo said.

Richardson is well-versed in implementing best practices to close the achievement gap, having served as an administrator of a Title I school that also housed a special needs program.

Hurst has served as the assistant principal at Roosevelt Elementary School for the past three years. Prior to that, she served as the family literacy specialist, a summer school intensive intervention teacher, and a second and third grade teacher — all at Roosevelt. She has also taught first and fifth grade in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

As assistant principal, she led IEP meetings, managed student discipline, implemented a positive behavior program, and developed and monitored language arts and math intervention programs.

Hurst is well-versed in special education law, best practices regarding special education instruction and programs, and the district’s Parent Resource Training program.

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