Stacy Brush has been doing the work of a principal since six days after school started this past August. Actually, this is her second go-round as principal, having completed two years at an elementary school in Thousand Oaks, California, in 2013-15.
The Humboldt Unified School District Governing Board, at its April 10 meeting, unanimously approved the hiring of Brush as principal for Humboldt Elementary School and Kimberly Grant as principal for Mountain View Elementary School for the 2018-19 school year.
Grant returns to MVES after a two-year hiatus working at Lake Valley Elementary School. She taught at Mountain View for 19 years prior to that.
A group of about 15 teachers and staff attended the board meeting, until the board finally reached the agenda item almost two-and-a half hours into the meeting. Each woman got a round of applause as their names were announced.
The district’s selection committee looked at 20 applicants for the positions, which it narrowed to six finalists. Brush and Grant were two of three final recommendations that interviewed with HUSD Superintendent Dan Streeter and Board Chair Rich Adler.
“This was the deepest, most talented, pool of candidates I’ve ever seen,” Streeter said.
Brush began her education career at Little Singer Community School and Leupp School on the Navajo Nation where she taught fifth/sixth grades and high school. She called it an “excellent experience.”
“It defined me as a teacher and an educator,” she said, describing the experience she found challenging, which taught her to meet the students where they were and to be flexible. “It set the course for me.”
In her 33 years in education, Brush earned two master’s degrees, one in multicultural/bilingual education, and one in educational policy and leadership studies, plus her administrative certificate.
She was hired this school year as the assistant principal at Liberty Traditional School. Six days into the school year, when the newly hired HES principal decided to stay retired, she was asked to take over at Humboldt.
“The people here grabbed me, they’ve embraced me, and just have not let me go,” Brush said. “It couldn’t have made a better match.”
Indeed, Penny Miller, administrative secretary said the teachers and staff are “ecstatic” about Brush becoming the permanent choice for principal.
“My focus is to make sure we keep our eye on what we achieved in the past and stay the course,” Brush said, calling HES “the little school that can — and continues — to do it.”
This year, she has been listening, taking input and involving everyone. The school has “tried and true cultural traditions” that contribute to its success.
“You walk on this campus and you can feel it. It’s a family, a community, a village. It’s positive and loving,” she said, adding that the school also has many families and kids that need that bit of extra care.
Brush was born in Phoenix, but attended kindergarten at Washington School in Prescott before the family moved to Flagstaff. She is married with two adult children and two dogs, and likes to camp, fish and participate in other outdoor activities in Arizona.
Grant became an educator 21 years ago, first with Mountain View Elementary School as a kindergarten, second- and third-grade teacher. Two years ago she moved to Lake Valley as an instructional specialist. And for the past four years, she has worked summers as the district’s summer school administrator.
Grant said she wants to help be a part of educating kids and leading them “to big things.”
“They are our leaders,” she said.
Asked if she saw any challenges ahead in her new position, Grant said she’s been away for two years, so things won’t be exactly how she remembers. She plans to keep things on track.
Mountain View hosts many of the special education programs and students with special needs — a population Grant holds close to her heart.
She chaired the committee for STEAM curriculum and programs, and was on the leadership teams for both Lake Valley and Mountain View. She also has been a member of the Technology, Meet and Confer, and Calendar committees.
Grant is married to a retired Prescott Valley Police officer — 23 years this May — has three children and two grandchildren. She enjoys spending time with family and going to her son’s many athletic games.
“We enjoy the community, and are glad we are here and now serving in a different capacity.”
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