• PG High welcomes new assistant principal

    by Michael Sizemore

    peep sean kellerThe recent resignation of Mariphil Romanow-Cole, former principal of Forest Grove Elementary School, who accepted a position at the Monterey County Office of Education, set off a quick shuffle of administrators in Pacific Grove Unified School District, sending former Forest Grove principal Craig Beller back to Forest Grove from his position as principal at the Adult School and Community High School; moving Barbara Martinez away from the position of vice principal of Pacific Grove High into the breach to fill the principal’s position at the Adult and Community High schools, and moving Sean Keller from his English teacher position to become assistant principal at the high school.

    Keller said he had an ambition to become an administrator, but the appointment “came out of the blue” and has been a real challenge for him. He grew up near Cupertino and attended Fresno State, majoring in speech communications – speech, linguistics, drama and English. After earning his English credential in 1994, he was certified as a special education teacher in 1999 while earning his masters at San Jose State.

    This is his 19th year in education, but he first came to Pacific Grove schools in the 2000-2001 school year as a special education teacher. Later he became the activities director and then an English instructor.

    Just a few weeks into the job of assistant principal, Keller says he is enjoying the change. He is enthusiastic about PG High. He is excited about several programs at the school, including the AVID program. AVID stands for “Advancement Via Individual Determination.” AVID was developed as a college readiness program and boasts great success throughout the country, with an overwhelming majority of participants graduating high school and continuing into post-secondary education.

    He mentions also a method of recall called Cornell note-taking. The system was developed by Cornell educator Walter Pauk to help students record and organize notes for greater clarity.

    As far as discipline, he wants to implement restorative practices, chances to mend broken relationships. “Students need to have consequences to their actions,” he said. However, it’s better, he notes, when the consequences can help create better students. “Every kid is an individual,” Keller says. Each student needs to be dealt with in an individual manner.

    The general culture at the school is an accepting one, where members of the student body are allowed to be themselves and are accepted as they are. “It really is about relationships,” he says.

    He admits the appointment to the position is an interim one. It was an appointment made in the middle of the year with the agreement that the district would “assess the situation at the end of the year.” In the meantime, he looks forward to working with Principal Matt Bell, thanks both Bell and Barbara Martinez for being “incredible mentors,” and will approach the situation as a learning experience.



    posted to Cedar Street Times on October 17, 2013

    Topics: Front PG News, Schools


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