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Ramona's Dana James Named New Principal at Casa de Oro Elementary

James is a resident of Ramona. She has served in the District for 29 years at six different schools.

Dana James, who has been with the for 29 years and is a Ramona resident, is taking over as principal at for Lisa Conry, who is retiring.

The school is preparing for its 63rd year of serving students in the La Mesa and Spring Valley areas.

James brings lots of experience to the job, having taught children in kindergarten, and first, second, fifth and sixth grades during her career. In addition, she has specialized in “reading intervention” programs and has served as an English Language Learner coach.

James also has a lengthy list of schools at which she’s taught, so she’s familiar with the district and its students. Casa de Oro, will be her seventh district school, joining Elementary, Elementary, Elementary, Elementary, Elementary, and Sweetwater Springs Elementary.

James told Patch that she is excited about lots of the events the school has planned for the upcoming year, including a Jog-a-Thon, a Community Read-In and a Variety Show Night.

In addition to James, there are a few other new faces joining the faculty at Casa de Oro this year. Kim Nowak, a fourth grade teacher, is moving from Bancroft, and Jacoba Dolloff, a second grade teacher, is moving from Sweetwater Springs.

Parts of the school have been remodeled to update ADA requirements, in addition to a new parking lot.

But the best new feature, according to James, is that of interactive Smart Boards, a line of technologically advanced whiteboards, in each of the classrooms.

"This is a big deal for the students and the teachers because it lets the students interact while they learn on them," said James. "They even have responders where they can text their answers or responses up onto the Smart Board when asked. It is very unique and special to our school!"

James is a resident of Ramona, where she lives with her husband, Jeff. She has two children, Collin (19) and Abby (22). James earned a BA in Liberal Studies, an MA in Curriculum and Instruction, and an Administrative Credential, all from San Diego State University.

In addition to having a love of teaching and for the kids, she enjoys reading, working in the garden, and shopping.

Carol (Jarrard) Hetzler September 05, 2012 at 05:46 AM
Good to see my old "alma mater" still going--attended 1963-1964. Anyone know where Mr. Stafford, Vice-Principal under Principal Mr. Toth, went--is Mr. Stafford still in Calif., still alive? (I moved to Iowa, still here, since the end of my 6th grade that '64 school year.) Mr. Stafford was a very progressive teacher, had earned his Masters that year, too! Please let me know if you know his whereabouts and if I can contact him, OK? Thanks!
Ron Lare April 26, 2013 at 02:22 AM
The conjunction of the names Stafford and Toth tells me I had the same Stafford and Toth as teachers for 5th and 6th grade at Casa de Oro. That would have been around 1956-1958. Memories of Toth teaching us about Harry Belafonte and Stafford showing us an anti-war film--daring in those days. Ron Lare, Detroit, , RonLare@SBCglobal.net
Ron Lare April 26, 2013 at 02:33 AM
The conjunction of the names Stafford and Toth tells me I had the same Stafford and Toth as teachers for 5th and 6th grade at Casa de Oro. That would have been around 1956-1958. Memories of Toth teaching us about Harry Belafonte and Stafford showing us an anti-war film--daring in those days. Would love to contact either of theme. I assume Mrs. Zysk, whom I had for 4th grade, has passed away, but would love any recollection of her. -- Ron Lare, Detroit, , RonLare@SBCglobal.net
Ron Lare April 26, 2013 at 02:33 AM
I'll add that I had Mrs. Zysk for 4th grade.

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