William Dabbs, the district’s assistant superintendent of educational services, will be Rio Mesa’s new principal.
Gonzales was the assistant principal of Rio Mesa for nearly six years before serving as principal for the past five years.
In his new role, Gonzales will work with school administrators to find solutions for students at risk of not graduating due to multiple absences or behavioral problems.
He will match students who are struggling in a mainstream high school environment with alternate ways to earn their diploma, such as independent study or continuationschool programs, which offer smaller class sizes.
Gonza- les will also work with the OUHSD review board that decides whether or not a student should be expelled from school, and he will oversee the development of the district’s Community Day School, which will offer classes to students who have been expelled or who’ve had attendance or behavior problems.
The district hopes to open the day school within three years.
Dabbs has 24 years of experience as a school administrator, 10 of them as principal of Pacifica High School in Oxnard.
Rocky Valles, assistant superintendent of human resources for the district, said Dabbs volunteered to take the reins at Rio Mesa because he is passionate about working on school sites.
“(Dabbs) expressed his interest when this position opened up, and it just seemed like a perfect match,” Valles said. “We have every confidence that he’s going to do a great job and the community of Rio Mesa will be very happy with his services.”
By working together with school administrators and the teaching staff, Dabbs said, he hopes to create a shared vision for Rio Mesa.
“I have always been a strong believer that all students should be successful, and we need to do everything we can to ensure their success together,” Dabbs said.
“I will be spending an awful lot of time in the classroom, having lots of discussions with teachers and lots of discussions with parents to make sure if somebody needs something, we make the appropriate resources available to benefit the students.”