The Morongo Unified School district is kicking off the 2019-20 school year with a batch of new administrators. Eight new principals and assistant principals will be leading schools throughout the district.
At Twentynine Palms High School, Richard Rossano has taken over as the assistant principal. New to the Morongo Basin, Rossano has been working in education for six years. He previously was an intervention support counselor at Beaumont Unified School District.
Rossano said he is looking forward to building relationships with students and becoming a part of the Twentynine Palms community.
“I hope to have as positive and as great and impact as I possibly can,” he said.
Rossano already has a giant “Wildcat print” hanging in his office, which he hopes will be an open and safe place for students.
“I am very excited to work with staff, parents and the community to ensure all students receive the education they deserve,” he said.
Over on the west end of the Basin, Jenny Cavelti, a longtime MUSD staff member, is working as an assistant principal at Yucca Valley High School. Cavelti previously taught math at La Contenta Middle School and was involved in Kaleidoscope Days for the Gifted and Talented Education program earlier this summer.
She has a Bachelor of Arts from Cal State Long Beach and a master’s degree in educational administration from Cal State San Bernardino.
“I am most looking forward to venture out from teaching and step into administration for the first time,” she said.
At the middle school level, La Contenta Middle School has a new principal, Kelly Daly. Daly has worked in education for 25 years and was a middle school principal with the Banning Unified School District before moving over to the MUSD.
She has a Doctor of Education from the University of La Verne.
“I’m looking for personal growth and developing positive relationships among students, staff and the community,” Daly said. “ Academic improvement happens naturally in a positive working and learning environment.”
At the elementary school level, James Powell, a longtime Morongo Basin local, is now leading Morongo Valley Elementary School as its new principal. Powell has been working in education for 20 years, all in the MUSD, and most recently was assistant principal at La Contenta.
“I am looking forward to connecting with the staff here at MVES and with the community here in Morongo Valley,” he said.
Onaga Elementary School has a new principal, Deanna Skinta, and a new vice principal, Richard Romo.
Skinta was previously the principal at Friendly Hills Elementary School and has been with the MUSD for three years. She has been working in education for 20 years.
“I am looking forward to growing and learning alongside my new Thunderbird staff, students and families,” she said.
Romo was previously an assistant principal at the Corning Union Elementary School District. He has been working in education for 14 years.
Down the road at Friendly Hills Elementary School, Randy Eigner will be leading the Hawks as their new principal. Eigner has been with the MUSD for 21 years and previously worked at La Contenta Middle School as a special education department chair and case manager.
I am excited to be doing what I most love to do, having as big an impact on kids and teachers as possible,” he said.
New assistant principal Karina Veas will be splitting her time between Yucca Valley and Joshua Tree elementary schools. Veas has experience working with two schools and in the past served two schools in an intervention role at Azusa Unified.
She has 15 years of experience in education.
“I am looking forward to supporting both schools’ administrators, teachers, staff, students and families through effectively implementing PBIS and making school an exciting place to be each and every day,” she said.