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Dunbar gets a new principal

Elizabeth Stevenson will join the “pod” for 2022–2023 school year

by Tracy Salcedo

The changing of the guard that has dominated headlines at schools throughout Sonoma Valley over the past weeks has reached Dunbar Elementary, as interim principal Katherine Hahn moves on to a permanent position at El Verano Elementary and Elizabeth Stevenson takes the helm at the Glen Ellen campus.

The positions at both schools transition on July 1, 2022, meaning Hahn, who has served in various roles at Dunbar over the past seven years, will finish out the school year with Dunbar, and Stevenson will come on board midsummer.

Stevenson is moving into the lead role at Dunbar from Altimira Middle School, where she has been a special education teacher for seven years. She recently obtained her Administrative Services Credential, is completing a master’s degree in Applied School Leadership, and will be principal of the Sonoma Valley High School summer school programs this year, as she was last year.

Stevenson and her family have “been part of the Sonoma Valley community” for more than 20 years, and her three children attend Sonoma Valley Unified School District (SVUSD) schools, according to a letter sent by Superintendent Adrian Palazuelos on April 5. She is “thrilled to be joining the [Dunbar] Dolphin pod” and noted she is “honored to be able to work in the same community we live in. I take the academic success and social emotional growth of this school and community personally and will work together with you to achieve these goals.”

In his letter announcing the two appointments, as well as addressing turnover within the SVUSD as a whole, Palazuelos wrote, “Our focus now is on moving our district forward, and it starts with the hiring of excellent school principals and a vision for what we are looking for in those leaders … We are all about excellence … and who you hire and how you support them is at the very core of this.”

The appointments of both Stevenson and Hahn to their new positions was slated to be approved by SVUSD’s Board of Trustees on April 12.