CONTACT:  Sarah Wahrenbrock                       FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

310.450.8338, ext. 70-229                                  06 JUN 2014



SMMUSD Welcomes new administrators!


At its June 5, 2014, meeting, the Board of Education approved the appointment of Ms. Tara Brown as the new Director of Student Services, Ms. Deanna Sinfield as the new Principal of Franklin Elementary School, and Mr. Mark Demick as the new Principal of Point Dume Marine Science School. 


Ms. Brown will be replacing Dr. Kelly, the former Director of Student Services, who was appointed as Executive Director of Student and Professional Services last month.


Below is information on Ms. Brown, Ms. Sinfield, and Mr. Demick:


Ms. Tara Brown

Ms. Brown was appointed the Principal of Franklin Elementary School in 2006.  Before joining the SMMUSD team, she served as Principal at Linda Verde Elementary School, Assistant Principal of Park View Middle School, an At-risk Teacher/Administrative Intern and elementary school teacher at Linda Verde Elementary School (all in Lancaster), and an elementary school teacher at Trinity Christian School in Northridge.  Prior to leaving Lancaster School District in 2006, Ms. Brown was named "Administrator of the Year."  Under her leadership, Franklin Elementary School earned not one, but two California Distinguished School Awards (2008 and 2014).  The API score at Franklin, an already high-achieving school, increased twenty points under Ms. Brown’s leadership.  At her previous school, Ms. Brown’s educational expertise resulted in a forty-point API gain.  She was named Teacher of the Year when she taught at-risk youth at Linda Verde Elementary School, where she was responsible for all Title I programs and the student study team, all while earning her administrative credential.


Ms. Brown’s fifteen years as a school site administrator provides her with an appreciation for the big-picture goals as well as the day-to-day operations and demands of a school site, including scheduling, budgeting, supervising, and ensuring student safety.  As an instructional leader, she understands the need for targeted, data-driven professional development and classroom instruction, as well as the importance of implementing effective discipline that encourages positive behavior.  Her experience at both the elementary and secondary school level will allow her to be able to meet the wide-ranging needs of all of our schools.  Ms. Brown’s leadership in our district goes beyond the school site; she has served on our district’s negotiation team for the past five years, on the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee (SAC) for Vision for Student Success since 2011, and is on the SMMUSD Sustainability Committee.


Ms. Deanne Sinfield

Ms. Sinfield was appointed Assistant Principal of Franklin Elementary School in 2006.  Before joining the Franklin team, she served as a Special Education Coordinator and School Psychologist with our district.  Prior to that, Ms. Sinfield served as a School Psychologist with LACOE; School Psychologist Intern at Lankershim Elementary in LAUSD, our district’s preschool program, and the University-affiliated Program at Children’s Hospital; and as a counseling/Psychology Intern with Moorpark Unified School District and at our district’s Lincoln Middle School.  Ms. Sinfield is very familiar with Franklin ES, its staff, students, and families, having been an integral member of the school’s leadership the past seven years.  As Assistant Principal, she worked closely with Ms. Brown to ensure student safety by chairing the Safety/Anti-bullying Committee, creating and maintaining the drop-off program, and ensuring progressive discipline strategies and alternatives to suspension were implemented.  Their hard work also helped Franklin ES to be named a California Distinguished School twice.  The close relationships Ms. Sinfield has formed with the Franklin community, whether it be with the site governance committee, PTA, student success team meetings, IEP meetings, or at schoolwide events, will be invaluable during the school’s transition to a new principal. 


Ms. Sinfield is well-versed in best practices for meeting the needs of diverse learners, having a strong background in special education.  She focuses on the whole child, balancing a fun, student-centered climate with researched-based instructional strategies, such as cognitively guided instruction (CGI), Thinking Maps, and Write from the Beginning.  Ms. Sinfield leads by example as a globally-conscious citizen, having partnered with parents to initiate the Grades of Green trash reduction program, for which Franklin won an award. 


Mr. Mark Demick

Mr. Demick comes to SMMUSD from the Highline School District, where he has been serving as the Principal of Chinook Middle School for the past four years.  Prior to that, he served as Principal of Mount View Elementary School in the Highline School District, Principal of Sequoyah Middle School and of Sunnycrest Elementary School (both in Federal Way School District, as Assistant Principal of Woodbrook Middle School of Clover Park School District, and as an elementary school teacher with the Edmonds School District, Marysville School District, and the CA Unified School District.  Under his leadership, Chinook Middle School received the Washington Education Association Priority School Award, Washington Achievement Award for Mathematics, Superintendent recognition for multiple years of sustained achievement growth, and a Substantial Reduction in the Achievement Gap in Math Award.  For his collaboration with staff to meet the individual needs of the middle school students, Mr. Demick was named Principal of the Year by the Highline School Foundation and Association of Washington State School Principals. 


Mr. Demick understands that student success is a direct result of a collective vision.  He collaborates with staff to develop data-driven professional development that targets specific, agreed-upon student achievement goals using.  Leading by example with enthusiasm and energy, Mr. Demick creates a school climate where students and staff are supported and held to a high standard.  He cultivates and values effective relationships with parents, staff, students, and the broader community to help meet this collective vision for the school. 


“I would like to congratulate Ms. Brown and Ms. Sinfield on their new positions and welcoming Mr. Demick to SMMUSD for 2014-15,” commented Superintendent Sandra Lyon.





1651 16TH Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404

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