Ball assumes principal’s post with enthusiasm
By Pixie Sulser
Enthusiastic is the best word to describe Barnett Elementary School’s new principal, Linda Ball. She is excited and proud to take the leadership role at a school she describes as “having so many wonderful things in place!”
Ball, a community member, a school district parent of two, and a Ramona Unified School District employee since 1985, says she feels incredibly lucky to have her first principal assignment at a school that boasts incredible parental support and dedicated staff members.
Although the principal’s office is new to Ball, leadership is not. For the past eight years she has led RUSD teachers in anything to do with English language arts in her role as teacher on assignment at the district office. Her job included textbook adoptions, professional development for teachers and administration, analyzing testing data and subsequent intervention plans, and demonstration lessons.
Additionally, Ball worked with the many Oasis reading tutors who volunteer in Ramona schools, enhanced the partnership with the Ramona Library, and worked with bilingual education.
Her career, however, did not begin in Ramona, but rather in San Diego City schools with a mid-year assignment of a 3/4/5/6 bilingual class.
“That was a challenge,” she said.
From there she took a job in the Encinitas School District teaching second through fifth grades over the next four years. In 1985, Ball moved to Ramona and began teaching at Hanson Lane Elementary “when the school had over 1,000 students.”
Mt. Woodson Elementary opened in 1989, and Ball was part of the inaugural staff. For nine years she taught kindergarten and first grade as part of a team that requested permission for the first all-day kindergarten in the district. Eventually, Ball experienced the itch for a change and joined the Ramona Elementary staff as a fourth grade teacher where she stayed for the next four years until she took on the teacher on assignment job.
”Barnett has been on a really great path,” she said. “There are some incredible programs in place. We have had huge changes with new leadership and eight new members replacing those who retired, but that has created a new energy, a fresh energy. This is an incredible place to be.”
Ball sees the Barnett mission statement of “Learning is my responsibility” as a statement she truly believes in and supports 100 percent.
“I believe in building independence in children — independence in their learning and independence in their behavior,” she said. “It’s very exciting to help facilitate that and to have conversations about helping our students become more and more independent.”
She sees her biggest challenge as creating a balance between her administrative duties and being the instructional leader she wants to be.
“It’s important to me to get into the classrooms, to have conversations with the teachers and to work closely with the students,” she said. “I always want to be accessible to this community.”
Off campus and in her down time, Ball describes herself as definitely an outdoors type of person who enjoys hiking, is learning to mountain bike, and is an avid baseball fan.
“I also love local events such as concerts in the park or cultural fairs,” she said. “There is so much to do around San Diego!”
- Barnett Elementary celebrates with Ice Cream Social May 24
- Ramona Elementary principal earns regional award
- Principal stays at Mt. Woodson school
- New principal continues family’s tradition in education
- School starts Monday
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