New district administrators named

September 12, 2013|By Bryce Alderton

The Laguna Beach Unified School District board approved the appointment of three new administrators at its meeting Tuesday night.

Darlene Messinger is the new assistant superintendent of instructional services, replacing Deni Christensen, who resigned in June; Leisa Winston is the new director of human resources and public communication, replacing Gerald Vlasic, who resigned in July; and Lisa Brackez is the new assistant principal for guidance at Laguna Beach High School, replacing Courtney Robinson, who resigned in July.

Messinger's educational background includes staff development and training teachers on the Common Core state standards, a new set of learning styles and tests that emphasize critical thinking, writing and interpretation.


She was most recently an office administrator for the Saddleback Valley Unified School District, and before that an instructional services administrator with the Orange County Department of Education,

providing professional development opportunities for teachers and administrators throughout Orange County, Kathy Kessler, Laguna Beach Unified's interim human resources director, wrote in an email. Messinger was also an elementary school principal in the Tustin Unified School District.

She will start Sept. 23 and be paid $154,963 next year, according to a district release and personnel report.

Winston comes to Laguna Beach Unified from the Westminster School District, where she is the assistant superintendent for human resources for both classified staff and teachers.

Prior to that position, Winston provided oversight to Westminster School District's special education services as administrator of student services.

Winston also worked as program specialist for special education in the Capistrano Unified School District and before that was a special-education teacher in Michigan.

She will begin in the next few weeks and be paid $143,539 next year, the personnel report said.

Brackez comes to Laguna Beach High from Cactus Shadows High School in Scottsdale, Ariz., where she was assistant principal of academics, according to Cactus Shadows' website.

Before that, Brackez was assistant principal for six years at Bradshaw Mountain High in Prescott Valley, Ariz.

In those positions, Brackez led school-wide curriculum and assessment programs and the International Baccalaureate program, according to a Laguna Beach Unified press release.

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