The Harbor View Elementary School principal’s office has an autographed photo on the wall showing the late John Wooden with Charlene Metoyer and Mary Manos — a picture taken years ago at a luncheon where Wooden was a guest speaker.
The photo belongs to outgoing principal Metoyer, who announced her retirement last week.
“That’s hers,” Manos said. “But I have one as well.”
Manos, who retired two years ago from Andersen Elementary after 11 1/2 years as principal, began work this week at Harbor View as interim principal. Her goal, she said, is to make a seamless transition while a permanent replacement is found for Metoyer, who retired to be with her ailing father.
The matching photo of the women with Wooden was just one example of the connections that Manos and Andersen had with Metoyer and Harbor View, she said.
Metoyer spent part of Monday on the Harbor View campus, showing Manos around and making introductions. But Manos already was deeply connected to the school and its staff. Office assistant Patty Steeves had worked at Andersen while Manos was principal, and teachers at the two schools frequently interacted through training seminars, she said.
Metoyer and Manos, she said, knew each other years ago at National University in Costa Mesa, where Manos’ husband was one of Metoyer’s teachers. And as principals, she said, they spoke on a daily basis.
“It’ll be good,” she said. “Everything will be the same for the children. I have met several children, and I explained that I’m just like a substitute and they say, ‘Oh, okay…’”
Teachers return to campus next week, and Manos plans to meet with parent leaders as well. No major changes are planned, she said.
“I don’t want to change customs,” she said.
Finding a permanent principal could take about two months, said Laura Boss, a Newport-Mesa Unified School District spokeswoman. A recruitment notice will go out within a week, she said in an email, and the posting and recruiting process takes about a month followed by interviews.
District officials also are seeking parental input. An online survey has been posted on the school’s website for parents, and an all-call was issued to remind parents about a community input meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the school’s multipurpose room.
“That’s a really important meeting,” Boss said. “Parents really need to show up and share with the district administrators what they want to see in their next principal. Things like longevity, does it need to be a currently seated principal, technology, special education, uniqueness of campus. These are all important variables that need to be put on the plate so that a match can be made.”
Read our earlier story here.