WHITTIER – Two longtime Whittier Union high school principals will help lead the District as assistant superintendents in the wake of Superintendent Sandra Thorstenson’s impending retirement and the selection of Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Martin Plourde as her successor.

Pioneer High School Principal Monica Oviedo, who has led the Titan campus for the past seven years, will replace Plourde. Santa Fe High School Principal Kevin Jamero will replace Assistant Superintendent of Personnel Services Rich Russell, who is retiring after a 22-year career at Whittier Union and who has played a pivotal role in developing the District’s successful Pyramid of Interventions as the former director of student support services.

Additionally, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Loring Davies, who has held his post for eight years, will become deputy superintendent, a position created to support Plourde through the transition.

All new roles will go into effect July 1.

“Both Monica and Kevin have proven talents and abilities that make them the perfect fit in their new roles,” Plourde said. “They are both hands-on leaders who take on a proactive approach to any issue they have faced on their respective campuses. I am confident that they, along with Loring, will bring new knowledge and expertise to our administration.”

Oviedo has served the District in numerous positions, including teacher leader at Pioneer, and assistant principal of guidance (APG), assistant principal of curriculum (APC) and principal at Santa Fe High School. She has completed the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) School Business Managers Academy and is on track to finish the ACSA Personnel Academy.

“I am very excited about this new opportunity and am pleased to work daily with such an experienced set of administrators and directors,” Oviedo said. “Moreover, I am grateful for the Board’s trust and confidence in my ability. I will endeavor to deserve it.”

Jamero has spent his entire 20-year career in the District, starting as a science teacher at Pioneer High School and football coach, physics teacher and science department chair, APG and APC at Santa Fe High School. He has been principal of Santa Fe for the last seven years and is completing the ACSA Personnel Academy.

“I am very appreciative to the Board for giving me this opportunity, and I’m excited to begin working with my associates, for whom I have a deep admiration due to their work ethic, collaborative nature and dedication to continually improving student learning,” Jamero said.

In his new role as deputy superintendent, Davies will assist with the overall operation of the District. With many new faces ¬– including new principals at the comprehensive sites and cabinet members ¬– Davies will play an instrumental role in providing support to Plourde during the transition period.

“We are very fortunate to have a deep bench of exemplary and talented administrators and teacher leaders whom we can call upon to take on new roles within our District,” Superintendent Sandra Thorstenson said. “I have no doubt that Monica, Kevin and Loring will excel in their respective positions and help to lead Whittier Union on a continual upward trajectory.”

The Board of Trustees will decide on principal replacements – including for Whittier High Principal Lori Eshilian, who is retiring in June – ahead of the new academic year.


APPOINTMENTS: Pioneer High School Principal Dr. Monica Oviedo, left, and Santa Fe High School Principal Kevin Jamero, right, were named assistant superintendents of business services and personnel services, respectively. Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Loring Davies, center, will become deputy superintendent effective July 1.