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Sunnyvale School District welcomes familiar faces into new roles

The Sunnyvale School District is excited to announce several leadership changes within the district!

Jeremy Nishihara

Jeremy Nishihara has been promoted to the position of Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and Information Systems, effective July 1.  Jeremy came to Sunnyvale School District in February of 2017 and has served as Manager of Information Systems and Human Resources since December of 2017.

Jeremy served in various leadership roles in the Cupertino School District from 2004 to 2016 before working as Development Director for the Silicon Valley Education Foundation. In Cupertino, Jeremy’s responsibilities included the creation of the district’s goals and Local Control Accountability Plan, development of the District’s technology vision and plans for the effective use of instructional technology tools, and integration of data systems to provide meaningfully, actionable data to stakeholders and decision-makers.  Jeremy served on Cupertino’s Executive Cabinet for three years and senior leadership team for seven years.

Jeremy’s experience leading in the area of human resources is broad. He served on the Board of Education in the Oak Grove School District for 10 years, and he has participated and demonstrated leadership in the areas of collective bargaining and employee-employer relations in both Cupertino and Sunnyvale.  He is the architect of Sunnyvale’s employee management and records system, which aims to increase transparency and efficiency in hiring, security, and retention of records and effectiveness of employee evaluations.

Jeremy possesses Chief Business Officer and Chief Technology Officer certifications.  He is the Board Treasurer for Sunnyvale Community Services, Board President of San José Taiko, a Board Member for the Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project, and an American Leadership Forum Senior Fellow.

Congratulations, Jeremy!


San Miguel’s Principal comes to the District Office

Christina BallantyneChristina Ballantyne has accepted the position of Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment for the Sunnyvale School District. Christina replaces Sarah Tellez who has recently accepted the position as an Assistant Superintendent in the Los Gatos Elementary School District.

Christina first joined the District in 2001 as a classroom teacher. Throughout her career, she taught at the elementary level at Lakewood and Cherry Chase, served as a Beginning Teacher Support & Assessment Mentor and Instructional Coach at the District Office, and worked as an Assistant Principal at Columbia Middle School. She is currently the Principal of San Miguel where she has led the school for the past seven years and successfully launched the Juntos Spanish-English Dual Immersion program. Christina brings a wide range of experiences to this role, including a strong understanding of early literacy and deep knowledge of our current curriculum and assessment structures.

Congratulations to Christina! We will immediately begin the process of selecting her successor at San Miguel Elementary School.


CMS’s Mary Beth Allmann now Director of Human Resources

Mary Beth AllmannWe are excited to announce that Mary Beth Allmann has accepted the position of Director of Human Resources for the Sunnyvale School District. This position was created through the recent reorganization of the Human Resources team and will take effect on July 1, 2020.

Mary Beth joined the District in 2009 as the Principal of Columbia Middle School. Mary Beth brings both a familiarity with existing District practices and a fresh perspective on how to meet the challenges of recruiting and retaining a qualified workforce, implementing support programs for employees, and enhancing morale in the District.

Prior to joining the District, she worked as an Assistant Principal with the Fremont Union High School District and as a teacher, guidance counselor and administrator with the Santa Clara Unified School District.

Through the selection process, Mary Beth’s skills of transparent decision-making, shared leadership, clear communication, and reflective listening really shone through.


CMS’s Esteban Ybarra now Assistant Principal at San Miguel Elementary

Esteban YbarraWe are also pleased to announce that Esteban Ybarra has accepted the position of Assistant Principal at San Miguel Elementary School, effective for the 2020-2021 school year.

Esteban first joined the District in 2013 as an Assistant Principal at Columbia Middle School. During this time, he exhibited a passion for meeting the needs of all students at Columbia and served in a number of leadership roles including PBIS site lead and site safety and facilities coordinator. Prior to joining the District, he served as a 4th and 5th-grade bilingual teacher in Watsonville for eight years. Esteban will bring his ability to meet the social-emotional needs of both students and staff, as well as his experience with bilingual programs to San Miguel.

Congratulations to Mary Beth and Esteban! We will immediately begin the process of selecting their successors at Columbia Middle School.


Bishop assistant principal becomes principal

Tara LubranoWe are very proud to announce the selection of Tara Lubrano to be the next principal of Bishop School.  Tara emerged as the most qualified candidate from a particularly strong pool of candidates.  She will begin her assignment with the new school year.

Tara came to Sunnyvale School District in 2014 as a fifth-grade teacher at Vargas School.  She has also served as an instructional coach for two years and as Assistant Principal at Bishop for two years.

Before coming to Sunnyvale, Tara taught in private, charter, and public schools in Texas, Louisiana, and California.  Two panels of interviewers were particularly impressed with Tara’s depth of knowledge in early literacy, instructional practice and assessment, and with her natural ability to build relationships and to inspire while always remaining focused on student academic achievement and social-emotional growth and wellness.

Congratulations, Tara, on your well-deserved appointment!

We would like to thank Suzanne Cicala for her eight years of principalship. Suzanne was instrumental in transforming Bishop into a Leader in Me school. We have seen the process make a positive impact on the Bishop school community, empowering students with the leadership and life skills they need to succeed. It has been wonderful to see students understand they can inspire positive action in themselves and in others.

Bishop received the 2020 Glenn W. Hoffmann Award this month by the Santa Clara County School Board’s Association for the implementation and success of the Leader in Me Program. The award celebrates school programs that significantly impact student success in the region and has been a county tradition for 36 years. Thank you, Suzanne, for everything you have done for the Bishop community! We wish you all the best in your future endeavors.


District Instructional Coach becomes Cherry Chase Assistant Principal and CMS teacher becomes Bishop Assistant Principal

Kristin Brett has been selected as the Assistant Principal for Cherry Chase Elementary and Rob Felicano has been selected as the Assistant Principal for Bishop Elementary for the upcoming school year.

Kristin first came to the District in 2003. During her 17-year tenure, she has taught both elementary and middle school, as well as serving as an Instructional Coach at Lakewood, Vargas, and most recently at Sunnyvale Middle School. Among Kristin’s strengths are building positive relationships, analyzing data, and delivering professional development. She is already familiar with the Cherry Chase community through her work at Sunnyvale Middle School supporting the transition of 5th-grade students into 6th grade for the past five years.



Rob joined the District in 2014 where he has taught 6th grade English Language Arts at Columbia Middle School. He has also served in several site-based and district-level leadership roles, including experience as the administrator for the District’s Summer Exploration Program. Prior to joining the District, he began his teaching career at a school that had a “Leader in Me” focus. He brings to Bishop his ability to meet the social-emotional needs of both students and staff and existing connections with Bishop’s families through his time at Columbia.

Kristin and Rob emerged as the top candidates from a very strong pool of almost 70 applicants.

Congratulations, Kristin and Rob!

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