When students return to Springer School after winter break, there will be a new leader at the helm. The district has hired Denise Khalid, who currently serves as principal at Forest Hill Elementary School in the Campbell Union School District.
“She is going to be just a stellar addition to an already strong team that we have, so I’m excited to have her come over,” Los Altos School District Superintendent Jeff Baier said.
Springer has been without a permanent principal since Robin Robinson resigned in June after one year at the school. Robinson returned to the Cupertino Union School District, where she worked before coming to Springer.
Sandra McGonagle, the Los Altos School District’s assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, has been serving as interim principal at Springer.
To help smooth the midyear transition, Khalid said she plans to meet with staff and parents in the coming weeks.
“A lot of relationship building is going to be key in those first couple of months at the school – learning from everyone and immersing myself in the community,” Khalid said.
She has been principal for nearly a decade at Forest Hill, which was named a 2019 National Blue Ribbon School. Last week, Khalid traveled to Washington, D.C., for the award ceremony. After close to 10 years at Forest Hill, she said she is ready to immerse herself in a new community.
“The mission and vision of the district really resonated with me as an educator and as a mother,” Khalid said. “I just felt like this was the kind of environment that I wanted to work in to support children.”
Khalid underwent a multistep interview process, meeting with Springer parents and staff, as well as district administrators. The goal was to find a candidate who was a fit for Springer and the district overall.
“We know that we’re not hiring for a particular school necessarily,” Baier said. “At this moment we are, but really we’re hiring for the school district.”
According to Baier, Khalid stood out for her warmth and focus on students, as well as her long experience as a principal. He noted that being a principal is a challenging position that involves interacting with hundreds of parents and students on a daily basis, as well as teachers and district administrators.
“It takes a great deal of skill to successfully do that in an effective manner,” Baier said. “Denise really demonstrated that she has that ability, all the while keeping students at the center of her purpose.”