The Mountain View Whisman School District has tapped Heidi Galassi, the current principal at Landels Elementary School, to lead Graham Middle School later this year. She will be Graham's fourth principal since 2018.
Galassi had previously served as assistant principal at Graham, the school district's largest school, and before that worked as a middle school math teacher and instructional coach. Superintendent Ayinde Rudolph said in a statement April 2 that Galassi's past experience makes her a good fit to lead the school.
"Ms. Galassi is the right leader for Graham because she brings both skills and stability as someone who knows Graham and the schools that feed into it. She has established relationships with all stakeholders -- students, staff, and parents -- and I know she will continue to do so at Graham," Rudolph said.
Like other schools in the district, Graham has seen significant administrative turnover in recent years. After former Principal Kim Thompson was ousted along with three other principals in June 2018, Michael Hermosillo took her place. Hermosillo quietly resigned from the post in June 2020, with no public reason given for his departure.
Hermosillo was replaced by Lauren Petrea, who assumed the role of principal in July 2020 and has led the school through most of the COVID-19 pandemic. She resigned effective April 1 this year, saying that her family was relocating to another state due to her husband's job.
In the meantime, former district principal Judy Crates -- who retired in 2013 -- will be serving as Graham's interim principal in the three-month gap between Petrea's resignation and Galassi's return to Graham.
District officials say that Landels parents and staff will be able to participate in an "input and interview" process for finding a new principal following Galassi's move to Graham. The move comes as the district office carefully weighs hybrid and in-person learning options at neighborhood schools for the 2021-22 school year.