The Nogales Unified School District will see two new faces and a longtime employee move up to administration at three different schools in the new academic year, starting next week.
The NUSD governing board members approved Monday hiring Joanne Vigilant as the new principal for Robert M. Bracker Elementary School, and Joshua Payne as assistant principal for Desert Shadows Middle School.
Previously, during the July 1 district meeting, the board hired Kristi Beach to serve as assistant principal at Nogales High School.
Bracker Principal Vigilant will replace Tim Colgate, after Colgate transferred within the district to become the NHS principal.
Vigilant brings with her a total of eight years of administrative experience, previously serving as principal for Pima Rose Academy in Tucson. Prior to that, according to a district news release, she served as a director of counseling, and taught middle school science and math.
“I bring to the table not only paper qualifications but also an underlying gratitude, understanding and a passion for the underdog,” Vigilant said in her application.
Superintendent Fernando Parra referred to her in the news release as “a strong leader who is passionate,” and added that she was supported by a committee that included District personnel, Bracker teachers, classified workers and parents.
“I have a passion for education,” Vigilant said in the news release.
Payne will work alongside Christopher Miranda, who served as the assistant principal for the past four years and was recently promoted to be the principal for DSMS.
Payne previously worked as assistant principal at Southwest Education Center, a private school for high-needs special education students in Casa Grande, according to the district’s news release.
His experience also includes teaching Spanish and special education courses, and providing intervention services for struggling students in middle and high school.
“I am bilingual in Spanish, always student focused, collaborative with all stakeholders, have incredible interpersonal skills as well as extensive curriculum knowledge,” Payne said in the news release.
Beach, an NHS 1989 alumna, will return to her alma mater as the assistant principal.
Superintendent Parra recommended her to the governing board, saying that Beach is a Nogales native and has shown a longtime commitment to the district.
Beach began her tenure with NUSD in 1999 and spent the past 16 years teaching seventh-grade science at DSMS.
“I have always loved NHS and I want it to be like I remembered it. I want it to be the great school I know it can be,” Beach said in the news release.