Cyndee Nguyen will be the new principal of Benjamin Bubb Elementary School. Her selection was announced at the Mountain View Whisman School District board meeting on April 17, where Nguyen was accompanied by a dozen of her supporters from Bubb School, where she taught first grade.
Nguyen is set to replace Mary Dietrich, who is retiring this year.
At the board meeting, Superintendent Craig Goldman's announcement was met with cheers and applause. Teachers from the elementary school had come with Cyndee to the board meeting to show their support, and celebrated when they heard the news.
"It is without any hesitation that we appreciate the fact that you're joining our leadership team," Goldman said at the board meeting. "We are excited as you take on this new role."
Nguyen was a first-grade teacher at Bubb Elementary for seven years. She was selected by her colleagues to be named Teacher of the Year in 2012 by the Santa Clara County Office of Education -- one of two teachers in the entire school district.
Nguyen spent the last two years as an instructional coach at Bubb and Landels elementary schools, helping other teachers in the classroom. Nguyen said as a coach, her job was to watch and observe teacher instruction, and give feedback either during or after class. It also meant working with the district officials to implement district-wide initiatives at the classroom level.
Goldman said her two-year experience as an instructional coach helped ready her for an administrative role.
"Nguyen is increasingly seen as someone who can lead teachers and students," Goldman said. "She is well-prepared to take over for Mary."
Nguyen was one of 44 applicants for the job. After the first screening, that number went down to eight. Nguyen said she was interviewed by two panels for the job: the first was panel of teachers, staff and neighborhood leaders, the second was the executive team for the district, including Goldman. In the interviews, she asked about her vision for Bubb elementary and how she was going to make that happen, as well as changes to instruction.
At the board meeting, Goldman said she did an outstanding job in her interviews, and "wowed" the panel, the executive team and the board of trustees.