By Maureen Robertson
Effective July 1, James Dukes Elementary Principal Pauline Leavitt will take the reins as principal of Olive Peirce Middle School.
Ramona Unified trustees announced the appointment at their meeting on March 21.
Leavitt will replace Linda Solis, OPMS principal for the past 18 years. Solis retires after 44 years in education at the end of June.
“Although Pauline is saddened to leave James Dukes after working so well with the staff, parents, and students of that close-knit community, she is very excited about returning to middle level education and the OP campus on Hanson Lane where she got her start in Ramona Unified six years ago,” Supt. Bob Graeff told district employees via email after the trustees 5-0 vote.
Leavitt was OPMS vice principal for four years before the district appointed her James Dukes Elementary principal two years ago. Previously, she work in San Diego City schools for 12 years.
Grant McNiff, a teacher at James Dukes Elementary, said he wished Leavitt was not leaving the school, adding, “I hope we can get somebody who’s close to as good as she has been.”
“We had her for two years,” he said. “She’s a strong leader. We’re going to miss her.”
Leavitt thanked the trustees for their confidence in her at the meeting, vowing she will work endlessly to make sure the school remains “the greatest school in the intergalactic solar system.”
For her 230-day work year, Leavitt will receive a salary of $123,720.