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Newport-Mesa Unified School District Announces Principal Changes
Posted 6/17/19


Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) is pleased to announce Michael Wagner as principal of Back Bay/Monte Vista High School, Somer Harding as principal of Newport Coast Elementary, Terri Clarke as principal of Newport Heights Elementary, Mia Doidge as principal of Sonora Elementary, and Ryan Longacre as principal of California Elementary.

Michael Wagner, Principal, Back Bay/Monte Vista High School

Michael Wagner, who has been serving as the acting principal at Back Bay/Monte Vista High school (BBHS/MVHS) for the past few months has been named principal of the school. Wagner has been a part of the BBHS/MVHS community for 13 years serving as a teacher, Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA), and assistant principal.

His experience at BBHS/MVHS includes training and implementation of restorative practices, management of student discipline, master calendar development, student liaison to the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council, and general oversight of all school operations.

Prior to his administrative experience, Wagner was a history at teacher BBHS/MVHS and helped develop course curriculum and independent study course work tailored to the unique needs of students.

His leadership, commitment to the staff and students, and positive energy will provide for continuity as the school moves forward. His collaborative approach to build and lead teams has built positive relationships through all facets of the school community. He cares deeply about students, always working to ensure that they have what they need to thrive and be successful at school and in life.

Wagner obtained his Bachelor of Arts in History from California State University, Long Beach and his Master of Arts in Educational Administration from Alliant University in Irvine.

Somer Harding

Somer Harding, Principal, Newport Coast Elementary

With 19 years of experience in education, Somer Harding will join the Newport Coast Elementary community as the new principal starting the 2019/20 school year. Harding has been with NMUSD for nearly four years, serving as principal of Newport Heights Elementary School.

Under her leadership, Newport Heights engaged in outstanding work, including phenomenal growth in English language arts and math, a strong support system and differentiation of instruction for every student, school wide safety measures were improved, and development of a modern production and technology studio (makers space).

Harding is accustomed to working in high-achieving schools with high expectations. She is known as a strong communicator, consensus builder, and has a strong passion for technology and innovation.

Prior to joining NMUSD, Harding served as elementary school principal in Conejo Valley Unified School District and teacher, dean of students and assistant principal in Las Virgenes Unified School District. She also serves as commissioner of the Legislative Subcommittee for the Advisory Council on Special Education, to advise legislators on education policy relative to students with disabilities.  

Harding obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles and her Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from California State University, Northridge.

Terri Clarke

Terri Clarke, Principal, Newport Heights Elementary

Terri Clarke, who has served as assistant principal for Newport Heights and Whittier Elementary schools the past three years, will serve as principal of Newport Heights starting the 2019/20 school year.

Clarke is an experienced and effective administrator who is passionate about leadership, positive school culture and student success. She has been with NMUSD for 15 years, teaching at the elementary level, serving in multiple leadership roles, and is a graduate of the NMUSD Leadership Institute. As a teacher, she was named NMUSD’s Elementary Teacher of the Year and represented the district at the Orange County Teacher of the Year awards. Prior to her role at Newport Heights and Whittier, she served as the assistant principal at Lincoln and College Park Elementary schools.

As assistant principal, Clarke was responsible for facilitating intervention programs, coordinating school-wide academic and positive behavior implementations, oversight of School Site Council, implementation of single plan for student achievement and school safety plans. She also assisted in coordinating school site Teachers on Special Assignment (TOSA), providing oversight of schedules, professional development, data analysis and needs assessments.

Known as a great listener, with a positive attitude, she values strong staff collaboration and parent involvement in her student-centered approach to solving problems.

Clarke obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Theatre Arts from the University of California, Irvine and her Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from California State University, Long Beach.

Mia Doidge

Mia Doidge, Principal, Sonora Elementary

Mia Doidge will serve as principal of Sonora Elementary beginning the 2019/20 school year. Doidge brings with her 17 years of experience in education, most recently serving as principal of Wilson Elementary School for the past two years.

As principal of Wilson Elementary school, Doidge was responsible for planning, organizing, and directing all school operations, evaluating personnel and the instructional program, and budgeting. She has a strong passion for the arts, deep knowledge of curriculum and instruction, as well as a positive focus on staff and community relationships.

Prior to her role as principal, Doidge served as an elementary instructional support specialist and teacher on special assignment, where she developed instructional literacy programs, facilitated lesson designs, created and organized professional development for teachers and provided instructional support in English language arts curriculum.

Doidge served as a teacher in grades first through sixth with Garden Grove Unified School District (GGUSD) prior to joining NMUSD. During her time at GGUSD she served as grade level chair and Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA). Some of her duties included facilitation of parent meetings surrounding nutrition and academics, organization of school community events, contribution to school wide discipline plans and participation in School Site Council, where she contributed to the review and evaluation of school improvement programs and budgets.

Doidge obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Music and Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of California, Irvine.

A principal for Wilson Elementary School has yet to be determined.

Ryan Longacre

Ryan Longacre, Principal, California Elementary

Starting the 2019/20 school year, Ryan Longacre will serve as the new principal for California Elementary School. Longacre has been with NMUSD for 14 years, most recently serving as assistant principal for College Park and Mariners Elementary Schools.

Longacre is known for his ability to build trust and consensus and consider various needs, interests and perspectives in a collaborative manner.

As assistant principal, Longacre assisted in the planning, development and coordination of various instructional programs, provided support for the development and implementation of the school plan for student achievement, and assisted in maintaining positive community relationships.

Prior to his role as an assistant principal, Longacre served as an instructional support specialist for elementary education, where he worked on curriculum development, staff training and language arts instruction for Title I schools. His career at NMUSD began as a fifth and sixth grade teacher at Davis Magnet School, then a fourth and fifth grade teacher at Newport Coast Elementary, and a fifth and sixth grade teacher at California Elementary.

Longacre obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Arts Art History from California State University, Fullerton; and his Master of Arts in Art History and multiple subject teaching credential from California State University, Long Beach.  

Jake Topete, previous California Elementary School Principal has asked to serve in an assistant principal position within NMUSD (school yet to be determined).