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Recommendation for new Assistant Principals, Assigned to Various Schools

Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) is pleased to announce the selection of Michael Wagner as assistant principal of Back Bay/Monte Vista High School, Ryan Longacre as assistant principal at College Park and Mariners Elementary Schools, Samantha Payne as assistant principal of Corona del Mar High School and Jennifer Fox as assistant principal of Ensign Intermediate School.


Michael Wagner, Assistant Principal, Back Bay/Monte Vista

Michael Wagner has 11 years of experience with NMUSD, spending eight years as a classroom teacher at Back Bay/Monte Vista and the past three years as a Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) as an administrative intern at Back Bay/Monte Vista. He is known for his passion for alternative education and his unwavering dedication to the students and staff at his school. His collaborative approach to building and leading teams has built positive relationships through all facets of his high school community.


“I believe in giving students the attention that they need when they need it,” said Wagner. “I am looking forward to continuing to successfully support the students and staff at Back Bay/Monte Vista as we work to provide the tools necessary for each student to graduate,” he said.


As the administrative TOSA at Back Bay/Monte Vista, Wagner has gained invaluable experience in the areas of restorative practices and student discipline. He was the Positive Behavior Intervention Systems Chair, the site coordinator for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), the Professional Learning Communities site leader, and has graduated from the NMUSD Leadership Institute.


“In the time that I have worked with Michael it is easy to see that he is an essential part of our team, a positive influence on our campus, and a truly dedicated leader,” said Marc Trocchio, principal at Back Bay/Monte Vista High Schools.


Ryan Longacre, Assistant Principal, College Park and Mariners Elementary Schools


Ryan Longacre has been an educator with NMUSD for the past 12 years, serving in a variety of teaching and leadership roles at Davis, Newport Coast and California Elementary Schools. He began his career with NMUSD as a sixth grade teacher and through the past 12 years has taught in grades four through six. He has tremendous experience with the Gifted and Talented Education program (GATE) and most recently served as a Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) for elementary education.


As an experienced educator, Longacre has filled a broad range of leadership roles. He has served as a Site Technology Coordinator, a GATE Site Coordinator, a district GATE trainer, and a Literacy Coach for Title I support.  


“I believe that high quality instruction is imperative for all of our students,” said Longacre. “I eagerly look forward to working in collaboration with the great students and staff at College Park and Mariners Elementary Schools,” he said.


Longacre has supported and worked in partnership with the principals and teachers at various schools, delivered multiple presentations on a variety of curriculum and instruction programs and is a graduate of the NMUSD Leadership Academy.


“We are fortunate to have such a talented and experienced member as part of our team,” said Rich Rodriguez, principal at College Park Elementary. “Ryan’s depth of professional educational experience will immeasurably benefit the students and staff here at our school,” he said.


Samantha Payne, Assistant Principal, Corona del Mar High School


Samantha Payne has been with NMUSD since 2001, and has 17 years of experience in education as a teacher and as a middle and high school administrator. Prior to her new role as assistant principal at Corona del Mar High School, Payne was an assistant principal at Ensign Intermediate School. She also was an administrative intern at Corona del Mar High School before joining Ensign.


While at Ensign Intermediate and CdM High School, Payne assisted in the overall administration of the school, created and facilitated professional development for staff, implemented student discipline and restorative justice programs, supported and provided guidance at Individualized Educational Program, 504 and Student Study Team meetings, and supported teachers in lesson design and class management strategies.


“While I love and will miss the Ensign school community, I am excited to return to the CdM campus,” said Payne. “I look forward to working collaboratively to support students and staff, and continuing the many amazing successes at CdM,” she said.


Payne served as an eighth grade English teacher at Chandler Unified School District and a seventh, eighth and ninth grade English teacher at CdM Middle and High School. She is a graduate of Pepperdine University, with a master’s degree in administrative services and Arizona State University where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in education, with a specialization in English.


Jennifer Fox, Assistant Principal, Ensign Intermediate School


Jennifer Fox has been with NMUSD since 2003 and prior to her new role as assistant principal at Ensign Intermediate School, she was a teacher and administrative designee at Estancia High School. Fox is known for her strong curriculum knowledge and ability to connect with and help students of all abilities succeed.

As administrative designee at Estancia High School, Fox has a strong focus on intervention and support services such as developing the tutoring center and tracking and coordinating supports for struggling students. She also led the Positive Behavior Intervention Systems Tier 1 Team and the site level Restorative Justice committee. As an instructional coach, Fox is active in the professional development of teachers and student leadership groups and led the roll out of the Estancia Lyceum Academy. She has strong ties to the greater school community as both a Youth and Government and California Scholarship Federation advisor at Estancia High School, and served as school liaison with the Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce, Youth Employment Services, and the City of Costa Mesa.


“Jennifer demonstrates a passion and desire to help students learn and has many and various experiences to draw from,” said Michael Halt, principal at Estancia High School. “She is a self-driven individual with a special talent to bring out the very best in everyone,” he said.


Fox is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in organizational leadership at Pepperdine University and has a master’s degree in education, with an emphasis in curriculum and instruction.


All assistant principal appointments are scheduled for Board of Education approval at the September 12, 2017 board meeting. 


Posted by: Adriana Angulo, District Admin, Newport Mesa Unified School District Published:9/8/17
Audience: Homepage