Mark Twain principal resigns

Wendy DeSimone

Mark Twain Elementary School Principal Wendy DeSimone has announced her resignation after two years of serving in the position.

“(DeSimone) has taken a position in Modesto, and we are going to miss her dearly,” Mark Twain Union Elementary School District (MTUESD) Superintendent Julia Tidball told the Enterprise on June 24.

The Copperopolis and Mark Twain elementary school teacher of 12 years was appointed principal in March of 2018. She served as interim principal the previous year, following the brief tenure of former Principal Paul Gehres.

DeSimone has accepted a position with Modesto City School District as coordinator of student support services, where she will be coordinating afterschool programs and field trips for more than 20 elementary schools, DeSimone told the Enterprise on June 26.

“(I) truly enjoyed having an educational career at both Copper and Mark Twain,” DeSimone said. “I was truly connected to the community, families and staff.”

The former principal added that she is happy to continue living in Copperopolis as she takes on her new role in Modesto.

DeSimone’s resignation commences yet another hiring stage for MTUESD administration, which has selected and shuffled five new principals between its two elementary schools since 2012, when Tidball graduated from the principal and superintendent position at Copperopolis Elementary School to the district’s full-time superintendent.

The hiring process is scheduled to begin in July with a first session of interviews, according to Tidball. A committee made up of teaching and classified staff, a parent in the community, an administrative member and school board member will recommend applicants to Tidball and the MTUESD Board of Education for a second round of interviews and possible selection.

“The board can say we’d like to start over again and restart the process, because the board is committed to finding a good fit,” Tidball said.

If selected, a new principal will begin the 2019-20 school year at Mark Twain Elementary on Aug. 21.

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Dakota graduated from Bret Harte in 2013 and went to Davidson College, NC where she earned a bachelor's degree in Arab studies. After spending time studying in the Middle East and Europe, she is happy to be home, writing about the community she loves.

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