By JENNIKA INGRAM | Reporter
In the first-ever virtual learning start to the Pacific Palisades academic year, Marquez Charter Elementary School has a new principal at the helm.
Principal Lauren Park Mulder will lead the school through uncharted territory for the 2020-21 school year, following Principal Ben Meritt’s retirement.
“My first day of work was July 23, and it’s been hitting the ground running since,” Mulder wrote to the Palisadian-Post.
Mulder hosted a 20-minute meet and greet via Zoom during the afternoon on Friday, August 7, to introduce herself to the community and answer questions.
Mulder shared she is excited to join the Marquez community, and looks forward to establishing relationships and building on the already high level of instruction at the school.
“Marquez staff is highly qualified and highly motivated, as they have been engaging in ongoing professional development,” Mulder shared with the Post. “Our goal for distance learning this year is the same. It is our goal for our students to feel success in school so that it is a place they are eager to be part of each and every day.
“It is our goal to provide experiences that will instill the skills and passion to make a difference in the world.”
Mulder explained the school year will begin with a flip half day with distance learning beginning at 1 p.m. on August 18 and 19, and then will return to a typical schedule on August 20 and 21 at 9 a.m.
Parents are urged to do their best due diligence to make sure students are online and attendance will be taken.
“We are building the airplane and flying it as we speak,” Mulder shared during the meet and greet.
Mulder joins the school with 13 years of school administration experience, and 11 years as an elementary teacher and literacy coach. The children will refer to her as Mrs. Mulder as she transitions into the name from her recent marriage.
Mulder formerly held positions as the assistant principal in the Bay Area with Belmont Redwood Shores School District and an elementary principal with Monterey Peninsula Unified School District.
Although Mulder is new to the Palisades, she is familiar with Southern California, having grown up in Los Feliz and graduated from UC Irvine.
Marquez parent orientation is scheduled for August 20 and Back to School Night will take place on September 8.
“We see this year as an exciting opportunity for all Marquez community members to work together with a shared vision and collective commitment to ensure success for our children,” she concluded.
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