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Paso Robles High has a new principal — he’s a Cal Poly grad and Top 20 Under 40 winner

County schools superintendent begins Paso Robles board meeting with a Dr. Suess quote

SLO County Office of Education Superintendent James Brescia leads the Paso Robles Joint Unified School Board in its first meeting as new members are sworn after the former superintendent resigned.
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SLO County Office of Education Superintendent James Brescia leads the Paso Robles Joint Unified School Board in its first meeting as new members are sworn after the former superintendent resigned.

Two Paso Robles schools are getting new principals — both of whom already work in the district.

Officials on Tuesday announced that Anthony Overton, vice principal of Paso Robles High School, will take over as the school’s leader following the departure of Principal Eric Martinez.

Martinez announced in February he would depart the Paso Robles Join Unified School District to move closer to his family. His last day at the high school was March 1.

Overton, a Cal Poly grad, has worked for the district for the past nine years.

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Anthony Overton (left) was selected to become Paso Robles High School’s new principal. Overton poses for a photo with Julian Crocker, interim superintendent of Paso Robles Joint Unified School District. Courtesy Paso Robles Joint Unified School District

He’s served as a science teacher and activities director and has also coached the Bearcat cross country and track and field teams, according to Jennifer Gaviola, deputy superintendent.

Overton was named Paso Robles High School’s teacher of the year in 2015 and was honored as one of The Tribune’s Top 20 Under 40 award-winners in 2016.

“He has a passion for students, learning and incredible communication and organization,” Gaviola wrote in an emailed statement.

Shanna Ray, a district instructional coach, will also take over as principal of The Arts Academy at Bauer Speck in time for the 2019-20 school year.

Dorothy Halic, the school’s current principal, plans to retire at the end of the 2018-19 school year.

Ray has worked in education for the past 10 years and has served Paso Robles as a guidance specialist and an instructional coach.

“In her time as an administrator, Shanna has strived to ensure students receive high-quality social and emotional supports to allow them optimal success in the classroom,” Gaviola wrote in an email. “She believes that students who learn to recognize their emotions and, in turn, learn strategies to regulate their emotions, are far more successful in school.”

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Shanna Ray (left) was selected to become the new principal of The Arts Academy at Bauer Speck starting during the 2019-2020 school year. Ray poses for a photo with Julian Crocker, interim superintendent of Paso Robles Joint Unified School District, and Dorothy Halic, the school’s current principal. Courtesy of Paso Robles Joint Unified School District

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Lindsey Holden writes about housing and everything in between for The Tribune in San Luis Obispo. She also covers communities in northern San Luis Obispo County. Lindsey became a staff writer in 2016 after working for the Rockford Register Star in Illinois. She’s a native Californian raised in the Midwest and is a proud graduate of two Chicago schools: DePaul University and Northwestern University.
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