As the 2022-23 school year quickly approaches, Morgan Hill Unified School District has hired eight new staff members to fill leadership positions on school campuses and in the central office.
The first day of the 2022-23 academic year for students at MHUSD’s 14 schools is Aug. 16. Read more below about some of the new faces the students and faculty will see when they return to campus.
El Toro Elementary Principal
Joe Guinane, El Toro Elementary School’s new principal, began his career at MHUSD in 2011, serving as a middle school teacher, an ELD TOSA and summer school principal. Since 2019, Guinane has served as Assistant Principal at Ann Sobrato High School, says the press release.
Guinane is enthusiastic about his new position and joining the El Toro team. “It is my uncompromising view that all students can learn, given a positive learning atmosphere that welcomes exploration and enhances student confidence,” Guinane said. “It is my belief that every educator’s mission is to make school enjoyable and exciting.”
Ann Sobrato High School Assistant Principal
Sobrato High School’s new Assistant Principal, starting with the 2022-23 school year, is Mark Pierce, who has been an educator for over 10 years. Most recently, Pierce has worked as a social studies and Advanced Placement teacher, says the press release. He has also held positions including summer school principal, coach, tutor, mentor and after school coordinator in numerous states.
“My desire is to help students from various walks of life while they prepare to launch into society as responsible citizens,” Pierce said.
Director of Family and Community Engagement
Corina Sapien Heiser joins MHUSD as the district’s new Director of Family and Community Engagement, with 32 years of experience as a teacher and administrator, according to MHUSD spokesperson Lanae Bays. For the last five years, Heiser has worked at SEAL (Sobrato Early Academic Language), overseeing dual language/bilingual education, family engagement, diversity, equity and inclusion, systems evaluation team, event planning and professional development.
Prior to that, in Gilroy she served in Title I schools as a teacher, ELD literacy facilitator and principal at a dual-language school.
“Decades of research show that when schools partner with families and caregivers, students benefit— academically and otherwise,” Heiser said. “I am excited to work for a district that has this mission.”
Coordinator of Equity
Abelardo De Leon, Jr.—the local district’s new Coordinator of Equity—has 22 years of experience as a teacher and administrator, Bays said in a press release. He has worked as an elementary teacher, after school coordinator, literacy resource teacher, assistant principal, program manager and principal. For the last eight years, De Leon has served as principal in Alisal Union School District where he said he has had “the privilege of serving multilingual learners, migrant students, students designated as socioeconomically disadvantaged, and their families. I am a firm believer that students will be successful when we provide them and their families with the proper services and resources.”
Program Coordinator, Special Education
Sarah Melville has served in Morgan Hill Unified since 2010, first as a paraprofessional, then as a Special Education teacher and Department Chair. She is now taking on a new role as MHUSD Program Coordinator for Special Education, says the press release.
Melville recently completed her Administrative Services Credential Program, and she is excited to continue serving students, staff and families as Program Coordinator for Special Education.
“This is a pivotal time in the education of our children, and I relish the opportunity to be part of a leadership team that can effect change so that our students with disabilities succeed and thrive,” Melville said.
Executive Assistant, Education Services
Claudia Estrada has held clerical support positions for over twenty years in Pajaro Valley, San Benito and Gilroy, where she has enjoyed being part of a team, training other office personnel on customer service and efficient processes, the press release says. She is now MHUSD’s Executive Assistant for Education Services.
Estrada is excited to bring her wealth of knowledge in the educational field to help the district’s Educational Services division in implementing exciting new initiatives. “I welcome the opportunity to join the team and use my skills to create an efficient, stress-free office environment,” Estrada said.
Supervisor of Maintenance and Operations
Ruben Rodriguez is the district’s new Supervisor of Maintenance and Operations. He has been serving as the Senior Maintenance Technician at MHUSD since 2020, Bays said. Prior to working for MHUSD, he worked as an Installation Supervisor for First Alarm for roughly 11 years. He was also an electrician for five years.
“I am committed to following guidance from the Director of Operations and strive to provide the best experience possible for students and staff of the MHUSD,” Rodriguez said.
Supervisor of Grounds
Serafin Castro is a well-known entity around the district. He has been the Grounds Foreperson since 2013. Based on a restructure of the department and the need for additional leadership, Castro has been promoted to MHUSD’s Supervisor of Grounds, says the press release.
“Serafin is looking forward to working with his team, learning new technologies, and maintaining audits of the grounds at all facilities around the District,” says the press release.