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New year to bring new faces in FCUSD schools

Beginning in the next school year, some of our Folsom Cordova schools will welcome new leaders who will help build on their schools’ strengths and grow their achievements.The Board of Education has approved the following selections:

Lari Miller-Powel Lari Miller-Powell, Principal, Riverview STEM Academy: Miller-Powell will fill the vacancy left by outgoing Principal Tony Peterson, who is retiring at the end of the school year. Miller-Powell is a familiar face to the students and families at Riverview STEM, as she was one of the first teachers hired to help open the magnet school in 2014. She has worked in Folsom Cordova schools for 23 years and served as the District’s Lead STEM Elementary Teacher since 2015. In that role, she has not only helped expand access to rich STEM learning across our schools, but she also has helped lead the District’s pilot for new science curriculum. Additionally, she has served as a vice principal and principal of summer school at White Rock Elementary, has frequently served as a principal’s designee, and has been a department chair for three different principals.





Robin Smay Robin Smay, Principal, Blanche Sprentz Elementary School: Smay will fill the vacancy left by outgoing Principal Andy Smith, who is retiring at the end of the school year. Smay has 13 years of experience as an administrator at both the site and district level. She has held many positions in K-12 general and special education, most recently as Folsom Cordova’s Inclusion Coordinator in Special Education, as well as in temporary roles including Interim Principal at Carl Sundahl Elementary. Before joining Folsom Cordova, Robin held a variety of leadership positions in the El Dorado County Office of Education, Rocklin Unified School District, and Jefferson County Public Schools. She began her career in education in 1999 as a special education teacher in Oakland Unified.





Carole Vargas Carole Vargas, Principal, Theodore Judah Elementary School: Vargas has spent the last 21 years serving Folsom Cordova schools and was instrumental in starting the Academy for Advanced Learning at Theodore Judah. For the last six years she has led Navigator Elementary in Rancho Cordova as its principal. Vargas has held many roles in Folsom Cordova, from classroom teacher to coach, GATE Coordinator to Lead K-6 Math and Science Curriculum teacher.







Larry Mahoney Larry Mahoney, Principal, Navigator Elementary School: Mahoney most recently has served as the Principal of Folsom Middle School. Prior to that, he was the principal of Rancho Cordova Elementary School, a position he held from 2013-18. Before leading Rancho Cordova Elementary, Mahoney was a teacher and department chair at Russell Ranch and Cordova Lane elementary schools. At Navigator, he will fill the vacancy left by Carole Vargas, who was selected to take the helm of Theodore Judah Elementary School in Folsom.







Jeanine Holton, Assistant Principal, Vista del Lago High School Jeanine Holton, Assistant Principal, Vista del Lago High School: Holton is a familiar face to Vista del Lago, where she has most recently split her duties as a part-time assistant principal at that school as well as at Folsom High. She began her teaching career in 2000 in the Grant Joint Union High School District and joined Folsom Cordova seven years later as a teacher at Mills Middle School before moving on to Folsom High. In her current role, she has taken on numerous new responsibilities including designing weekly rotation schedules for Individualized Education Programs, identifying and providing support for at-risk students, serving as a site testing coordinator, and overseeing credit recovery programs.




Alana Morales, Assistant Principal, Folsom High School Alana Morales, Assistant Principal, Folsom High School: Morales is an educator with more than two decades of experience and joins Folsom High from Henderson, Colo., where she has spent the last five years as an English teacher and leader at Prairie View High School. As a member of her school’s Instructional Leadership Team, she has provided support to other teachers through one-on-one coaching, classroom observations, and conducting collaboration sessions. She also mentors all new high school teachers as part of her district’s induction program. Additionally, through serving on her school’s Equal Opportunity Schools Grant team, she has worked to ensure equity in access to Advanced Placement classes.