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Who’s new at Rio Rancho Public Schools

Three Rio Rancho Public Schools elementaries opened the 2013-14 school year this week with new principals, and the district has other administrative changes.

RRPS announced these changes:

• Cathy Gaarden, long-time principal at Maggie Cordova Elementary, has transferred to Sandia Vista Elementary as principal. She replaces Patricia Cruz, who left the district to take a professorship in higher education. Assistant principal at Sandia Vista will be Suzanne Maestas, an elementary summer school principal and formerly a teacher at Colinas del Norte Elementary;

• Skip Mackay, formerly the assistant principal, is the new principal at Maggie Cordova Elementary. The new assistant principal is Kristina Perea-Salazar, who comes to the district from Albuquerque Public Schools’ Petroglyph Elementary;

• Rio Rancho Elementary has a new principal, Gloria Rich, formerly the assistant principal at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary. She replaces long-time Rio Rancho Elementary principal Barbara Bruce, who retired last spring. Rio Rancho Elementary has a new assistant principal, Michael Giurlando, who was the assistant principal at Francis Wyman School in Burlington, Mass.;

• Betty Scheppmann, previously assistant principal at Rio Rancho Elementary, is the new assistant principal at Lincoln Middle School. She replaces Theresa Pickowitz, who moved out of state;


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• Janna Chenault is the new assistant principal at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary. She was special education instructional leader at Enchanted Hills Elementary;

• Veronica Sanders is the new assistant principal at Mountain View Middle School, replacing Jennifer Patterson, who moved out of state. Sanders had been assistant principal at Puesta del Sol Elementary and, at the time of her appointment, was RRPS assistant director for Parent, Community and Staff Outreach, a position being temporarily vacated to save money;

• Georgine Katsaros is the new assistant principal for Special Education and the SciMatics Academy at Rio Rancho High School. She had been with the Alief Independent School District in Houston, where she was assistant principal for the Hastings Ninth Grade Center High School. Katsaros replaces Laura Jeffery, who has become a principal in Santa Fe Public Schools.

• Mike Kenworthy is the new executive director of Information Technology. Kenworthy comes from the Sandia Field Office of the National Nuclear Security Administration, where he was information technology oversight manager. He also has extensive experience with the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center. He replaces Paul Romero, who became chief technology officer for APS.