New principal selected for Dunbar School
Dunbar Elementary School in Glen Ellen will have a new principal for the 2017-18 school year. Jillian Beall, currently vice-principal of Adele Harrison Middle School in Sonoma, will move into her new position July 1. Beall will be taking over for Melanie Blake, who has been at Dunbar since 2009, and with the Sonoma Valley Unified School District (SVUSD) since 1983.
Beall, 33, has been with SVUSD for two years. Before that, she taught at Roseland Collegiate Prep Middle-High School in Santa Rosa. During her tenure at those schools, she also served as the Accelerated Schools site coach and interim assistant principal at the middle school.
SVUSD Superintendent Louann Carlomagno said that Beall would be a good fit for Dunbar.
“Seeing first-hand Jillian’s work ethic and commitment to the students and programs she works with, convinced me that she would prove to be a strong asset for Dunbar and the community,” said Carlomagno.
Beall earned her B.A. from Sonoma State in 2008, and her multiple subject teaching credential in 2009. She received an administrative services credential in 2015. Beall will complete the M.A. program in Educational Leadership from Sonoma State in June.
According to a SVUSD press release, Beall is, “viewed by her colleagues as an administrator who holds high expectations for herself, students and staff; has a firm grasp on curriculum, content standards and program implementation; and is committed to equity in the educational experiences for all students.”
“I am absolutely excited,” said Beall about her new position. She said she was anxious to start listening to and getting to know Dunbar staff and parents.
Beall, a New Jersey native who moved to Sonoma County when she was 23, lives in Rincon Valley with her husband, Travis, who teaches English at Roseland University Prep. They have two children, Lilian, 5, and Nolan, 3.
Dunbar has an enrollment of 234 K through fifth graders, is one of five elementary schools (not including charter schools) in SVUSD, and is located at the farthest western edge of SVUSD boundaries.
Dunbar has experienced significant demographic changes over the last 20 years due to the steep decrease in families with children living full-time in Glen Ellen, a result in part of increased housing prices.
The attendance boundaries of Dunbar have been pushed all the way down into the Springs area. Seventy percent of the student body is Hispanic, compared to 35 percent in the 2005-06 school year, according to the state’s Department of Education enrollment statistics, and six percent 20 years ago. Close to 64 percent of students in the 2015-16 school year were classified as English Language Learners. About 70 percent of the students qualified for free or reduced lunch.