The SMMUSD Board of Education approved the appointment of Jezelle Fullwood as the new principal of Grant Elementary School at its June 24 regular meeting.

Fullwood is a California native and has served in various school districts in and around Los Angeles County for nearly 20 years. She began her career as a classroom teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District, serving students in areas of high poverty. She became known for her ability to meet the diverse needs of all students, refining her expertise in the area of researched-based instructional strategies. She was a literacy coach within Los Angeles Unified School District and instructional specialist for Action Learning Systems, writing curriculum and delivering professional development to administrators and teachers across the United States.

For the past 10 years, Fullwood has worked in the Palmdale School District, where she served as director of curriculum and instruction, coordinator of staff development, assistant principal and principal of a Turnaround Intervention Model School, where she successfully managed a school improvement grant of $6 million. Her work in school improvement has been featured in the Texas Elementary Principal and Supervisors Association Journal and The National Center on Time and Learning.

Fullwood is a noted instructor, staff developer, and consultant. She is an adjunct faculty member for California State University, Dominguez Hills within the Graduate School of Education and in addition to local engagements, she is an international staff developer for Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID).

She has chaired various committees including the Bridging the Achievement Gap Conference and the African American Advisory Committee for the Palmdale School District.

Fullwood is a member of the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), and National Association of Black School Educators (NABSE).

“I am very excited to join the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District and the Grant Elementary team!” Fullwood said. “Successfully meeting the needs of a dynamic and diverse student population is what drew me to the district and specifically Grant. As a student, I attended schools in the area of Pacific Palisades and graduated from Pepperdine University. So, after being in the desert for 10 years, I feel like I’m coming home!”

Fullwood received a Bachelor of Science in business and management from Pepperdine University, a Master of Arts degree in education with an emphasis in counseling from California State University, Dominguez Hills and is currently engaged in doctoral studies at Brandman University of the Chapman University System.

“Jezelle will be a valuable addition to our district leadership team,” Superintendent Sandra Lyon said. “I would like to congratulate her on her new position.”

Fullwood follows Wendy Wax Gellis, who is retiring. Her appointment is effective July 1.

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