Original URL:  http://www.arizonarepublic.com/arizona/articles/0213phxpalomino13.html

Principal at failing school resigns to go to another district

By Kristen Go
The Arizona Republic
Feb. 13, 2003

NORTHEAST PHOENIX - The principal of one of two failing schools in the Paradise Valley Unified School District resigned Wednesday to take a position in another school district.

Elyse Minzer, principal at Palomino Elementary, will leave at the end of the school year to become principal at a new school in Deer Valley.

Palomino's staff was in shock after Minzer's announcement at an emergency meeting. "Her personality is what made a lot of us choose to come to Palomino," said Stephanie Stasik, a sixth-grade teacher. "A lot of us had other options, but we chose Palomino because of her."

Palomino has had a roller coaster year, Minzer said. The same week school was to start the district changed requirements for a dual language program. Teachers were left with a few days to come up with new lessons and class material. Then in October the school was labeled as "underperforming" by the state's new system to assess schools. Underperforming schools have not shown enough progress on standardized tests.

"Work at Palomino is almost 24-7," Minzer said. "And my family was taking the toll . . . but I love being the principal at Palomino."

Staff credit Minzer for coming in three years ago and increasing morale, establishing a vision to increase student performance and establishing ties in the community.

"Elyse had the knowledge and curriculum base to get us get organized and on track," said Ginny Kalish, a recipient of Arizona's Teacher of the Year Award.

The district will begin to search for a new principal Monday.