SOLANA BEACH — Leadership in the Solana Beach School District is seeing some big changes, with Kimberly Pinkerton coming on as the new principal at Skyline Elementary School.
Lisa Denham, who held the position at Skyline for the last 12 years, is now the coordinator of student services in the district office.
Melissa Hurd was also hired as executive director of special education for the district, and Angela Tremble is now assistant principal for Solana Pacific and Solana Ranch schools.
Pinkerton, a Solana Beach resident, formerly served as principal of R. Roger Rowe School in the Rancho Santa Fe School District for 15 years. She told The Coast News she hopes to refine the “level of greatness” at Skyline put forth by her predecessor, Denham, particularly when it comes to social and emotional learning (SEL).
“I was really excited for the opportunity to be able to work with a district that was looking at students in SEL at the level they had initiated last year and working with people who have an interest in the whole child,” said Pinkerton.
She said her top priorities for Skyline are student safety and SEL. She has already taken steps early this school year to improve safety — revising pick-up and drop-off procedures to reduce the amount of traffic and safety issues.
“I am so looking forward to the opportunities that we have as a school and a school district, to provide a well-rounded, nurturing and supportive educational experience for our kids,” Pinkerton said.
Denham will now be taking her passion for SEL to the district, working to support a healthy school climate and making kids feel safe.
During her time at Skyline, Denham helped implement the Second Step and Abilities Awareness programs, aimed to help combat bullying on campus and foster empathy. She said she’s “very proud” of the school’s new STREAM Discovery Lab, which provides more specialized instruction. She also highlighted changes to the Skyline’s SEL approach, with the school adding several counselors to staff this year.
Denham said she is now looking to tackle district-wide challenges related to attendance, helping families understand the importance of maintaining good attendance from a young age as to “build those habits now.”
She said the district will have to continue working with teachers and parents to send a message that “everybody is responsible for the social and emotional welfare of our children.”