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Change in Leadership, New K-8 Program

January 19, 2011

Dear Da Vinci Families, Supporters and Wiseburn Community:

With the new year underway, I am excited to share some important new developments at Da Vinci Schools.

I am proud to announce that the Board of Trustees has approved an important study to be conducted during the next six months that could result in the formation of a small Kindergarten through 8th grade school, tentatively called the Da Vinci Innovation Academy, to complement and support the excellent work that the Wiseburn School District is already doing. This K-8 fulfills our state charter requirements of operating a K-12 program within five years of opening our doors.

To lead the exploration of the K-8 school the board has chosen Dr. Nicole Tempel Assisi, current principal of Da Vinci Science and Design Schools, to be placed on special assignment to actively develop the new programs. Dr. Tempel Assisi is highly experienced in new school start-ups. In addition to being the founding principal here at Da Vinci, she was part of the High Tech High and Camino Nuevo Charter Academy start-up periods arguably two of the most effective charter school organizations in the State of California. Dr. Tempel Assisi holds a Doctorate degree in Urban Education from the University of Southern California and two Masters' degrees from the University of San Diego and Point Loma Nazarene University. She also serves on the board of education for the UCLA Extension Education program. Under Dr. Tempel Assisi's leadership, Da Vinci high schools have earned widespread recognition for their rigorous and innovative programs. She is highly qualified to lead the charge for the K-8.

Effective immediately, Mr. Steve Wallis, the current Da Vinci Science and Design's assistant principal, has been named the principal of Da Vinci Science and the Interim Principal of Da Vinci Design for the remainder of the 2010-2011 school-year. Mr. Wallis has a strong track record of success as an educator for the past 13 years. He earned his B.S. in Psychobiology from UCLA in 1998, his M.Ed. from UCLA in 1999, and his National Board Certification in chemistry in 2003. As part of the leadership team, Mr. Wallis has done exceptional work and we are confident that our schools will continue to thrive. We expect this to be a seamless transition as we continue to build on our culture of success.

The process for selecting the principal of the Da Vinci Design High School for the 2011-2012 school-year, as well as the final decision about the opening of the Innovation Academy this August, will be made in the future once we have completed a thorough study of the K-8 program.

It is with much joy that we take these new steps as an organization. We will continue to keep you informed about the latest developments both at the High School and Elementary/Middle School level.

Gratefully,

 

Matthew Wunder, Ed.D.
Executive Director
Da Vinci Schools

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