It’s been a year of change for schools across the county, and Vallecito Union School District (VUSD) just announced another big one.

The VUSD Governing Board recently appointed Dr. Raymond Fausel as the new principal at Hazel Fischer Elementary School (HFE) in Arnold for the upcoming school year. Fausel was selected by a panel of parents, teachers, district office staff and administrators.

“I’m impressed with the process VUSD went through in selecting a new principal for HFE,” VUSD Board Member Sarah Wilson said. “Parents, teachers, and staff stepped up to volunteer their time to serve on a committee interviewing the applicants. During the course of the interview process, Dr. Fausel stood out as a clear choice for HFE. The committee recommended him to the school board, in which we all agreed he demonstrated clear leadership and organizational skills. His educational accomplishments will serve the district in providing a quality education for all of the kids at HFE.”

Fausel holds a doctorate in educational leadership from California State University, San Diego, and a master’s degree in digital teaching and learning from Azusa Pacific University.

Dr. Raymond Fausel

Dr. Raymond Fausel was recently appointed by the Vallecito Union School District (VUSD) Governing Board as the new principal at Hazel Fischer Elementary School in Arnold for the upcoming school year.

“I started in education with the Peace Corps, where I was in Kyrgyzstan,” Fausel said. “I fell in love with teaching there, so I became a sixth grade teacher when I was back home. Then, I became the director of teaching and learning four years ago at Del Mar Pines Elementary (DMPE) School (in San Diego).”

Fausel said that DMPE and his new school have many similarities.

“I’m coming from a school with a little over 150 students,” he said. “I think that that will be a really big bonus for me to be able to step into a position where I’ve had so many years of experience working with a community that’s close-knit.”

Fausel said that technology has become an important tool in education.

“It’s very important to make sure that we’re able to leverage technology, and not just use it as an ancillary piece, but to be able to actually have it improve and enhance the education that we’re giving to students,” he said. “It’s something that I can support at a school site, and support the teachers with their utilization of technology, and make sure that we’re using it in the best way possible for students.”

Fausel said that he has several goals for the upcoming school year.

“I would like to make sure that we’re working to increase student achievement as much as possible there,” he said, “and to make sure that I’m really integrating with the community and ensuring that I’m supporting the teachers and the parents and all of the staff to make sure that we’re offering the best education possible for the students.”

Fausel said that his transition to HFE should be an easy one.

“I feel very good about having the leadership team there, and at VUSD, and to be working with them to be able to have a smooth transition,” he said.

Fausel said that he and his wife, Kelly, are looking forward to the move to Calaveras County.

“We love all of the outdoor activities, so that will be nice to be in a place that has all of that to be able to do when I’m not at work,” he said. “I’m looking forward to this change.”

VUSD Superintendent Jim Frost said that Fausel is a good fit for the elementary school.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Fausel to the district,” he said in a press release. “The committee held extensive interviews to find a candidate that had demonstrated expertise increasing student achievement and had successfully built relationships with families and students to create a powerful learning environment.”



Noah Berner has lived in Calaveras County most of his life, and graduated from University of California, Santa Cruz with a degree in history.

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