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NUHS names another principal

A retired Army lieutenant colonel from Utah will run Nevada Union High School starting Sept. 16, the latest chapter in a whirlwind period at NU which began last spring.

Margaret Christensen, who has a doctorate in education from the University of California at Santa Barbara, was chosen out of 40 candidates for the post that’s been vacant since June.

Former NUHS principal Marilynn Keeble’s replacement, Don Beno, a middle school principal from Truckee, quit in June before really getting started.



“I think the general saying is that he was here for two days,” Kurt Stenderup, assistant superintendent for Nevada Joint Union High School District, quipped about Beno’s short stay.

Keeble and other NU administrators were replaced earlier this year, causing a flap with teachers, who gave NJUHSD Superintendent Joe Boeckx a no-confidence vote.




But the school board didn’t react, Boeckx stayed, and Beno was hired.

After Beno’s surprise departure, Stenderup and Assistant Superintendent Mary Green ran the school. District officials searched for a new principal until Aug. 19. A panel of 16 people – including teachers, two parents and district officials – whittled the group of candidates down to nine then invited three for campus interviews, Boeckx said.

“She’s passionate and has so much energy,” Stenderup said about Christensen.

During a tour of the campus, Christensen commented on how healthy, friendly and responsible the students were, Stenderup said.

Christensen is a 1990 graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College. She retired from active duty in 1995 after a 20-year career that included servings as a plans and operations officer at the

Pentagon.

Christensen was most recently assistant principal of Santa Barbara’s Dos Pueblos and San Marcos high schools. Before that, she taught English at San Marcos High School and was senior Army instructor for the Junior ROTC for the Santa Barbara School District.

Christensen was “househunting with her husband” Friday afternoon after signing employment papers and was unavailable for comment, Boeckx said. Stenderup said he planned to hold a reception in a couple of weeks to introduce Christensen to teachers and staff.


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