Assistant Principals Stephanie Park and Deanna Sainten were announced as the new site leaders at Curtner and Weller Elementary Schools, respectively, at the May 26 Milpitas Unified School District Board of Education meeting.
Park, an assistant principal at Spangler Elementary School in her second year with MUSD, returns to Curtner where she previously served as the primary school’s assistant principal. Prior to that, Park, who earned her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Administration from Santa Clara University, spent nearly 14 years as a teaching lead with Cupertino Union School District.
“She’s a person who listens deeply and thoughtfully, and has a record of bringing people together and has strong instructional leadership,” said Superintendent Cheryl Jordan, sharing that Park was volunteering in Washington Heights, N.Y. when she “found a sense of purpose in connecting with students and families in a way that brought them an ability to dig deeper in their learning.”
Sainten, the MUSD Educator of the Year in 2012, has spent her entire professional career at Pomeroy Elementary School spanning nearly 14 years as a student-teacher, teacher, and assistant principal. During her MUSD tenure, Sainten took on prominent roles in PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports), Summit Personalized Learning Platform, where she developed grade-level curriculum, and African Ancestry Success Community, where she recruited and trained high school students to mentor elementary school students.
Superintendent Jordan said Sainten was selected to lead Weller due, in part, to “her tenacity and deep desire to make learning something that’s experienced by all in a personalized way.”
“Deanna understands the importance of parent and student engagement especially at this time of distance learning where she has taken upon herself to make student visits and has worked to enable staff to do the same,” Superintendent Jordan added. “She’s passionate about making sure cultural sensibility is something that takes deep roots in MUSD, and she is here for the long run.”
Park, who was an investment and loan advisor in international banking before finding her passion in education, said she will miss the Spangler Spartan family but is thrilled to join Curtner as its new principal for the 2020-21 school year.
“When I started my educational journey, I did not know where my path would lead me. Like most educators, I wanted to follow my heart and make a positive impact on students,” Park said. “When I was a teacher, I loved the close relationships I formed with my students and parents. As an assistant principal, I appreciated the impact I could have on the entire school. Each step has guided and prepared me to be a leader, a principal.”
Sainten credited Pomeroy and her many mentors over the last 14 years at the same site for her development and growth as an educator, and preparation to now lead Weller as its new principal for the 2020-21 school year.
“Weller is a wonderful community of dedicated teachers, staff, students and families. I share a great deal of alignment with Weller’s culture, vision and school priorities,” Sainten said. “I am a leader who is focused on equity, collaboration, restorative justice, civic engagement and inclusion. I look forward to continuing my career as a Weller Mustang. Weller is tied to the legacy of Milpitas' Sunnyhills community, and I’m excited to now be a part of that legacy.”
Park and Sainten’s hirings were unanimously approved by the Board in closed session at the May 26 meeting before Superintendent Jordan announced them to the community.