After a statewide search, the Mountain View-Los Altos High School District’s board of trustees is confident Margarita Navarro is the woman for the job.
Navarro will serve as the district’s new associate superintendent of educational services, following the retirement of former Associate Superintendent Brigitte Sarraf, who spent nearly 50 years as an administrator in the district. Navarro said Sarraf helped her ease into the new position earlier this month.
“(Sarraf) generously spent a whole hour right before her spring break, I have to commend her for that,” Navarro said, “She gave me the history of the district and the work that she’s done … I definitely want to honor all the work that she’s done.”
Superintendent Jeff Harding said he interviewed Navarro and spoke at length with her professional references before recommending her to the board.
“Ms. Navarro has a track record of serving all students, regardless of their economic status,” Harding said. “During her lengthy career working with high school students, she’s been an advocate for all students to excel.”
The school board unanimously approved Navarro’s hiring on April 5, and she was officially confirmed to the position on April 17. She starts July 1.
“I’m ecstatic. I’m really looking forward to this position,” Navarro said. “I feel that my last 20 years in education, everything has prepared me for this role.”
Navarro’s background includes seven years as an assistant principal Capuchino High School, where she worked on curriculum development and oversaw several standardized tests. She previously worked as a teacher training coordinator, an AVID teacher and social studies teacher and a bilingual resource instructor. Most recently, she comes from the San Mateo Union High School District, where she worked for seven years.
“All of those positions have really come full circle to prepare me for this position that now leading curriculum and instruction for a whole school district,” Navarro said.
Navarro’s role includes coordinating and supervising the district’s instructional programs, including the development of procedures that gauge teaching effectiveness and the quality of instructional material.
Navarro said she has experience working with English learners, students of color and Latinos. It’s no secret that Mountain View-Los Altos is a high-achieving district, she said, so the question becomes how to make sure students from all backgrounds succeed.
One of Navarro’s goals as assistant superintendent is to make sure she is available to the community and ready to listen to what they have to say.
“I really want to go to the sites, I want to be visible … I want to meet people, and meet families in particular,” Navarro said. “I think that’s one of the things I’m most passionate about, working with families.”