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Two New Vice Principals for Mira Costa

Jun 05, 2017 09:34AM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Jessica Bledsoe, left, and Tara Grings

The Manhattan Beach Unified School District has named Jessica Bledsoe and Tara Grings as new vice principals at Mira Costa High School.

Grings, appointed by the MBUSD board on May 17, filled the vacancy created by the departure of Ms. Kristin Wolberg. Bledsoe will fill the vacancy created when Karina Gerger was nominated as the new principal of Pennekamp Elementary School.

Grings has been teaching since 2006 in both middle school and high school. She has been an English teacher, choral director, and musical theater teacher in the Los Angeles Unified and Hawthorne School Districts. She has been working with UCLA Center X working on culturally responsive teaching and schoolwide multi-cultural programs. She also has the unusual claim to fame of having sung the national anthem at Dodger Stadium.

Bledsoe has been a science teacher at Mira Costa High School since 2010. She has served as department chair of that department since 2011. She has been leading the science department’s transition to the Next Generation Science Standards. Bledsoe has also been a key leader on Mira Costa’s Social Emotional Wellness Committee, charged with helping students to reduce stress and lead more balanced lives at Mira Costa. She has been teaching a highly innovative and hands on biotechnology course at Costa.

Dr. Ben Dale, principal at Mira Costa High School, said, “We are bringing in two outstanding leaders in Tara Grings and Jessica Bledsoe. Tara has an infectious energy and enthusiasm that lifts everyone around her. Her smart and dedicated approach to leadership creates safe learning spaces for all students. Jessica is a student-centered leader. She has compassion for students and staff while holding them to a high standard. Her passion for schools is outstanding.”

“I am proud to be named the newest vice principal of Mira Costa High School," said Bledsoe. "For the past six years I have built meaningful and lasting relationships with teachers, counselors, parents, administration, and students. This experience has afforded me a unique perspective and I feel well equipped to perform at a high level beginning on day one.”

Grings said, “Working at Mira Costa is a dream come true for me. Here, a team of talented students, educators, parents, and community members work together to uphold Costa's great history. I am so excited to be part of that legacy, and humbled to serve the future leaders of tomorrow. Go Mustangs!”

Mr. Brian Lucas, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources noted that there was a strong applicant pool, with over 70 applicants from across the state. "Ms. Bledsoe and Ms. Grings impressed a diverse panel of teachers, staff, parents, and administrators, and their references are incredibly strong. I look forward to bringing these two leaders onto our management team,” he said.

Grings’ employment with MBUSD was approved at the May 17 school board meeting. Bledsoe’s approval will be on June 7 regular board meeting agenda.

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