Adams Elementary principal resigns

August 14, 2000

Danette Goulet

NEWPORT-MESA -- Barbara Harrington became the seventh principal to

jump ship this year, adding Adams Elementary to the list of five schools

lacking leadership in the top spot.

Harrington announced her resignation Friday.

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District placed advertisements for

principal positions at the elementary and middle school level in


professional journals this week, Supt. Robert Barbot said. The

application deadline is Aug. 28.

"We're looking to make the best possible match," he said. "In the

meantime the people we have filling in are the most highly respected."

District officials said they will introduce the new principals of

Costa Mesa and Newport Harbor high schools Tuesday and will temporarily

fill the vacancies at the remaining schools.

Cathi Peirson, who served as principal of Pomona Elementary School for

two years before she left to have twins, will fill in as principal at

Mariners Elementary School. Although she has continued to work for the

district part time in the adult education department, Peirson is not

interested in a full-time position, Barbot said.

Retired Killybrooke Elementary School Principal Ned Hall will take the

helm at Adams until the right person for the job is found. Hall retired

two years ago after spending his career as a Newport-Mesa educator, said

Susan Despenas, assistant superintendent of elementary education.

Pulling his second tour of duty as a stand-in administrator, Mike

McGuire will act as principal at Ensign Intermediate School. McGuire has

been a social studies teacher at Ensign for more than 28 years and

temporarily served as the school's assistant principal.

"He's an excellent administrator, but his heart's really in teaching,"

Despenas said.

Despite parents' continued concerns about the exodus of principals and

unfilled positions, some are relieved to see the district taking its


"I think I'm glad that they're taking time to do a thorough search

because I really think there's a lot of factors to take into

consideration, and it takes more than five minutes," said Lisa Boler, the

Harbor Council PTA president, who has children at Mariners and Newport

Harbor. "I think they need to spend some time to find candidates that fit

the unique area or schools."

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