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School Leadership Transitions for 2022-23

The Palo Alto Unified School District is pleased to announce the following school site leadership transitions for the 2022-23 school year pending Board of Education approval.

Shannon Coleman

Shannon Coleman
Principal | El Carmelo Elementary School

Ms. Coleman has been the Principal at Greendell in PAUSD since 2017. Prior to her leadership role at Greendell, she served students as an Educational Specialist for many years in PAUSD and the Mountain View-Whisman school district. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Special Education from San Jose State University. Ms. Coleman succeeds Aleyda Barrera-Cruz who has accepted a Director position in the San Mateo/Foster City School District. Ms. Coleman, her husband and three sons enjoy a yard full of succulents, and many pets.

 
Elsa Chen

Elsa Chen
Principal | Ohlone Elementary School

Born in Taiwan and raised in Los Angeles, Ms. Chen began her education career as a third-grade teacher in an English-Mandarin dual-language elementary school in New York City. She has been a teacher and an Administrative Teacher on Special Assignment in PAUSD since 2013. Ms. Chen and her husband have two elementary-aged children. She earned her Bachelor's Degree from Cornell, a Master's Degree in Bilingual Education from Teachers College, Columbia, and a Master's Degree in School Leadership from San Jose State University. Ms. Chen succeeds Ms. Dawn Yoshinaga who will be transitioning to the Director of Mental Health and Wellness for PAUSD.

 
Jeff Downing

Jeff Downing
Principal | Addison Elementary School

Mr. Downing will be transitioning from his position as Assistant Principal at JLS Middle School in PAUSD to lead Addison. He has taught in both elementary and secondary environments at Alum Rock, Newark, and Fremont USD. He has also served as a Title I Specialist and an Elementary Assistant Principal. He holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration, a Master's Degree in Organization Management, and three teaching credentials. Mr. Downing is a native of Southern California who has called the Bay Area home for the past 25 years where he lives with his wife two children. He will succeed Amanda Boyce at Addison who will be serving the District as a Director next year.

 
Nikole Manou

Nikole Manou
Principal | Greendell School

Ms. Manou has been an educator for 24 years. She is currently an Administrative Teacher on Special Assignment at Escondido Elementary School. Her prior experience includes working as a multi-grade Educational Specialist, a teacher for various grade levels in PAUSD, as well as the Full Year Distance Learning Coordinator and a Multi-Tiered Systems of Support Coordinator. In addition to her elementary teaching credential, she has a Specialist Credential for Special Education, and a Master's Degree in Education. Ms. Manou and her husband have two boys and two dogs.

 
Kim Lohse

Kim Lohse
Assistant Principal | JLS Middle School

Ms. Lohse is currently an Administrative Teacher on Special Assignment at JLS Middle School and will be transitioning to an Assistant Principal role for the school. She has worked for the past 17 years in PAUSD teaching English and Creative Writing. She began her career teaching in Special Education and has also taught in Hawaii and New York. Ms. Lohse holds a Bachelor's Degree in English, a Master's Degree in Teacher Leadership, a Master's of Fine Arts in Poetry, and a Master's Certificate in Translation Theory. She and her family enjoy writing, gardening, cooking, traveling and hiking.