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Principal, vice-principal chosen at Magnolia school

Following a series of administrative shuffles to replace outgoing Cottage Hill Elementary School Principal Heidi Veneman, Pleasant Ridge Union School District has announced a new team of administrators for Magnolia Intermediate School.

Gene Morgan will serve as the new principal at Magnolia effective July 1, along with Gregg Motarjeme as school’s new vice principal for the 2012-13 school year.

“The district believes that the areas of expertise, strengths, and collective experience of these individuals will provide strong leadership, vision, and direction which will serve Magnolia School well as we move toward implementation of the new Common Core Standards,” said Superintendent Britta Skavdahl in an announcement.



Morgan has extensive experience as both a vice principal and principal at the middle and high school levels in addition to serving as a curriculum and instruction mentor in the Twin Rivers School District. Most recently, he taught as a teacher in Eugene, Ore., where he also served on the University of Oregon’s College of Education Advisory Council.

The principal vacancy at Magnolia was opened when current principal Mark Rodriguez was picked to replace Alta Sierra Elementary Principal Shar Johns who is filling Veneman’s vacancy at Cottage Hill.



Magnolia’s outgoing vice principal, Tina Toft, requested to return to the classroom, where she spent 18 years prior to moving into administration.

Her replacement, Motarjeme, is currently employed as a math teacher by the Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District in Placer County.

In addition to his classroom assignment, Motarjeme serves as the math department chair, president of the Dry Creek Teachers Association, and has held leadership roles in the area of curriculum development, professional learning communities, response to intervention, and is a technology integration trainer.

Both Morgan and Motarjeme will visit Magnolia next week to begin the process of meeting staff members, students and members of the community. 

The Magnolia Parent’s Club has scheduled a meet and greet event for Thursday, beginning at 8:45 a.m. in the district conference room so that parents of incoming sixth grade students can begin getting acquainted with the new administrative team.


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