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New principal ready for the challenge

Kim Mara Stephenson and Glenn Lipman.
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Oxnard Union High School District trustees voted unanimously to appoint Kim Marra Stephenson as principal of Adolfo Camarillo High School, effective July 1. She replaces Glenn Lipman, who will retire June 30 after 10 years leading the school.

The vote was made during the board’s June 10 meeting.

Stephenson has been the high school’s associate principal since 2013. She serves alongside Associate Principal Alexis Ortiz and Dean of Students Adriana Pulido

“I wish her the very best,” Ortiz said. “We are a team and will be successful.”

Stephenson, a Camarillo resident, brings over 20 years of education experience to her new position.

Her career began in 1993 at schools in Oakland and Palo Alto unified school districts. Stephenson has also taught at UCLA and Patton College.

She taught math and science at Colina Middle School in Conejo Valley Unified School District beginning in 2003. She served as dean of the middle school in 2008 and was promoted to assistant principal in 2010.

Oxnard Union High School District Superintendent Gabe Soumakian said Stephenson is the right choice for principal because of her longtime connections to the community.

“She understands the makeup of the community,” he said. “She is someone that is going to keep a strong academic tradition of engaging the community, parents and the school, and ensure that students will have a strong education and options to be prepared for college and a career.”

Born in Stockton, Stephenson attended Las Posas Elementary and Monte Vista Middle schools. She graduated from Rio Mesa High School in 1987.

As the new principal, Stephenson says she will keep her doors open to anyone with thoughts, concerns or ideas about the best ways to move the high school forward in academics or technology.

“I am going to go in and listen to their concerns and make sure I am addressing those things and build on the foundation that we already have,” she said. “We are going to build on what we’ve already got going and really deepen it, make it something that’s useful and meaningful.”

Her tasks as principal will include overseeing the transition of Camarillo High’s agriculture, and business and technology academies into National Academy Foundation academies.

The foundation helps businesses work with schools to give students the skills they’ll need to find entry-level jobs.

She will also oversee Camarillo High’s transition to meet new Common Core state standards. Common Core allows schools across California to adopt the same educational standards for English and math.

“That’s going to be a big transition for us to go through and really collaborate around,” Stephenson said. “We need to wrap our minds around the new standards and the new ways they are going to be affecting our performance.”

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