Leaders start new jobs in Humboldt school district
A former elementary school principal returns to the Humboldt Unified School District this next school year in a newly created position, Director of Federal Programs and School Improvement. Danny Brown is one of four new administrators hired for the 2013-2014 school year.
The HUSD Governing Board approved the hiring of Brown at the district office, Jessica Bennett as principal of Bradshaw Mountain Middle School, Melissa Tannehill as assistant principal at Bradshaw Mountain High School, where she joins Mark Ernster, the second BMHS assistant principal and athletic director.
Brown started his education career as a middle school social studies teacher in Winslow. Four years later, he was teaching at Chino Valley High School, and four years after that he accepted a position as assistant principal at a K-8 grade school in Keams Canyon.
He spent two years at Keams Canyon, two years as middle school principal in Parachute, Colo., and one year as elementary principal in Dulce, N.M., before he returned to Arizona as director and principal at Kestrel High School in Prescott from 2003-2005. Brown joined HUSD as principal at Lake Valley Elementary School for five years, then moved to Prescott College for a three-year stint as program development director for professional preparation programs.
"I'm excited to be back at the district. I think they are a very progressive district, moving in the right direction, and implementing common core and instructional strategies," he said.
Brown's new duties include submitting and overseeing federal, state and private grants; coordination of special funded programs and budgets; monitoring and reporting for compliance; liaison with Mountain Institute, Joint Technological Education District; supervising the HUSD Career Technology Education program; researching trends in curriculum development and intervention programs; and overseeing the accreditation process.
The 12-month contract puts Brown at Step 1, administrator level with master's degree, a salary of $65,750.
Mark Ernster and Melissa Tannehill
Two new assistant principals start at the high school this summer, one hired internally and one from Liberty High School in the Peoria Unified School District.
Ernster is a former math and physical education teacher, head baseball coach, and football, soccer, and women's golf coach, spending the past 11 years at LHS. He has worked as a financial advisor and also as lead instructor with the Arizona Diamondbacks Training Centers. From 1999 to 2003, Ernster was a professional ballplayer with the Milwaukee Brewers organization.
Tannehill began her teaching career in the Alhambra School District where she was a Sheltered Immersion teacher for six years working with students speaking as many as six different languages in the classroom. She has been with HUSD since 2009 as an English Language Development teacher at Granville Elementary School, math teacher at Glassford Hill Middle School, and most recently as Instructional Specialist at all three HUSD middle schools.
Tannehill spent six years as a military police/security police officer with the Arizona Army/Air Force National Guard, including 18 months active duty in Operation Enduring Freedom. She is an Arizona Master Mentor Teacher and has earned her Arizona principal certificate.
Both assistant principals signed a 229-day contract with the district for $57,750 on level one with master's degree, on the assistant principal high school salary schedule.
Brand new to Humboldt district, coming from Flagstaff Unified School District where she was the assistant principal at Sinagua Middle School, is Jessica Bennett.
She is happy to be in Prescott Valley because her husband works at a local chiropractic office and has been commuting back and forth to Flagstaff for a year and a half.
"I'm very excited to have our family together down here," Bennett said. The couple has a 14-year-old son in high school, another son entering seventh grade - who is deciding whether to attend BMMS or a middle school where his mother is not principal - and a daughter in third grade.
BMMS is not one of the district-chartered middle schools, and has not yet developed a signature program.
"I have a zillion ideas, but not knowing the culture and immersing myself with students and staff, I'm not at that point to narrow it down yet," she said.
Bennett said she finds that Humboldt district has excellent leadership, phenomenal teachers, and outstanding parents and students. She'll be on board fulltime as of July 1, starting on Step 1 with master's degree on the middle school principal salary schedule at $65,750.
With the retirement or resignation of several longtime administrators, the district is saving some money with the new hires, said HUSD Human Resources Director Dan Streeter.
"More importantly, we have some great talent coming into our District. With that said, we will miss our outgoing administrators tremendously," he said.