MVLA appoints special education administrator, assistant principals

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN, PHOTO BY ARYA NASIKKAR

The Mountain View–Los Altos Union High School District board Monday appointed Neena Mand to the role of special education administrator, Fabian Morales Medina to the role of Los Altos assistant principal and Marti McGuirk to the role of Mountain View assistant principal.

All three were appointed unanimously by the board, and all three are expected to bring their extensive education experience to their new roles.

Mand, who assumes the role of special education administrator, will be responsible for overseeing the district’s special education program and serving students with disabilities.

Most recently, Mand worked as the special education coordinator for the Santa Clara County Office of Education, and has an extensive 26-year career in the field.

“[Mand] will bring to MVLA her vast experience and knowledge,” Superintendent Dr. Nellie Meyer said at Monday’s board meeting. “She also comes with a great sense of humor and a family that I know is very supportive of her … We’re very excited to say that she’s already started and has hit the ground running.”

Mand holds a Bachelor of Arts in biology from Berhampur University; a Master of Arts in liberal studies; and a Master of Arts in education administration and supervision, the latter two from San Jose State University. 

“It’s been a pleasure being here, and like Dr. Meyer said, hit the ground running with all those meetings and [individualized education programs],” Mand said. “I’m so excited to be working with the students and families here, so thank you very much.”

Morales assumes the vacancy left by Perla Passalo, who was tapped last year to serve as the district’s director of student services and equity. As assistant principal at Los Altos High, Morales will provide leadership in managing the school’s curriculum, discipline, facilities and support services. 

Like the other appointees, Morales is a veteran educator with 15 years of experience as a teacher and academic counselor. He most recently worked for the San Mateo Union High School District as an academic counselor and dual enrollment coordinator. 

“Fabian went through a very rigorous interview process and brings wonderful skills including counseling skills that focus on students who are English learners, but also students across the board,” Meyer said. “We’re very pleased to have Fabian here as part of our team.”

Morales holds a Bachelor of Arts in social science from the University of the Pacific; a Master of Arts in counseling psychology from the University of San Francisco; and a Master of Arts in educational leadership from Santa Clara University.

“[I’m] really excited to be here joining a great team,” Morales said. “I think we had a great starting point with freshman orientation and 10th grade orientation … I’m really looking forward to working with our community and hopefully impacting more lives.”

Of the three new appointees, McGuirk is the only one to have previously worked in the district — in fact, she’s spent the entirety of her 22-year career at Mountain View High. 

Functionally, McGuirk’s role at Mountain View will look similar to Morales’s role at Los Altos, bringing leadership to the school’s administration. 

In her career at Mountain View, McGuirk has served as an English teacher, consulting teacher and from 2006 to the present, an academic counselor.

“There are certain people that [kind of embody] this phrase that they ‘bleed gold and black’; they are through and through, heart and soul, a spartan,” Meyer said. “I can tell you in my two years … I’ve been so impressed with [McGuirk’s] ability to work with families, to work with students, her knowledge of Mountain View High School, her passion for the work she does.”

McGuirk holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Master of Science in education from Northwestern University.

“I am beyond thrilled to have this opportunity,” McGuirk said. “Dr. Meyer is right, Mountain View has been my professional home for the entirety of my career, and I do indeed — I feel — bleed black and gold. So I am so grateful to be joining an extraordinary administrative team, to be helping to support and build capacity in a staff full of magical human beings, and to hopefully continue to make a positive impact on our students and our families and community.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s