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Local teacher and principal Jennifer Smalley was promoted this month to be a Capistrano Unified School District assistant superintendent, overseeing the curriculum and instruction of preschool through fifth grade.

During their meeting on Dec. 11, the CUSD Board of Trustees appointed Smalley to the position of elementary assistant superintendent. Smalley, a 28-year educator, got her first start teaching at Shorecliffs Middle School and was most recently heading up San Hills High School as the principal.

“I am honored to begin working with our elementary principals and staff,” Smalley said in a press release from CUSD. “The foundations we set in elementary education lay the groundwork for our students’ success through middle and high school, and into college and career.”

According to CUSD, Smalley’s focus on the school’s vision and learning goals has helped to increase student achievement in state testing and higher enrollment in AP courses, as well as expand pathways for colleges and careers.

“With the addition of Jen Smalley, we are prioritizing even greater resources on our younger students,” Superintendent Kirsten Vital said in a press release. “Our goal is to improve outcomes and increase success and opportunities for young people as they prepare for middle school, high school and beyond.”

To fill the principal role at San Juan Hills, the trustees appointed Executive Director of Secondary Education Tim Hornig in the interim, while the district searches for a permanent replacement.

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