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New Principals Begin at Mt. Carmel, Westview
Posted on January 3, 2011
Mt. Carmel High School and Westview High School have new principals, according to Poway Unified School District officials.
Dawn Kastner, most recently principal at Westview High School, will move to the position of Mt. Carmel High School principal, beginning today (Jan. 3). She replaces Tom McCoy, who resigned to take a position with the Ventura County Office of Education.
Kastner was Westview principal since 2006. Previous to that she was an assistant principal at Westview High School and Rancho Bernardo High School. Todd Cassen, an area administrator and assistant principal at Westview since 2004, shifts to the principal’s position, also beginning today.
The PUSD Board of Education will be asked to ratify the selection at its next meeting on Jan. 18.
Kastner has held school administrator positions for 11 years. Before coming to Poway Unified, she worked in the Fontana Unified School District as an assistant principal and coordinator of high school education and educational programs. Prior to becoming an administrator, Kastner was a mentor teacher, regional presenter, and the California Continuation Education Association District VIII Teacher of the Year.
“Dawn Kastner is an outstanding principal and educator who has demonstrated powerful leadership at Westview High School,” said PUSD Superintendent John Collins. “Dawn’s years of working with high school students attest to her commitment to provide the best possible educational experience for all students. Her strong commitment to learning and her curriculum and instruction expertise support Mt. Carmel’s fine traditions and designation as one of the country’s finest high schools.”
Kastner’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from John Brown University in Arkansas, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude; and a Master of Arts degree in Education and Special Education from California State University, San Bernardino.
“It is a great honor to be invited to join the Mt. Carmel school community,” Kastner said. “I have known of Mt. Carmel’s reputation for excellence since MCHS was the band to beat at my son’s high school band tournaments. Since I joined PUSD in 2004, I’ve continued to hear about the traditions of Mt. Carmel, and especially about the close-knit bonds of its community. I am looking forward to learning from new colleagues and meeting more of the outstanding teens and parents of the Mt. Carmel community.”
Kastner lives in the Rancho Bernardo community with her husband, Steve, who is an attorney, and daughter, Jessica, who works at Highland Ranch Elementary School. Daughter Jennifer is a pre-med student at San Diego State and son, Jared, is completing a year in Spain with Cal State Los Angeles.
Previous to his move to assistant principal, Cassen was a mathematics teacher, athletics director, and football coach at Westview from 2002 to 2004. He also was a member of the core team of educators who worked on Westview’s vision, standards, and curriculum when the school opened in 2002.
“Todd’s proven leadership, knowledge of the Westview community, and firsthand knowledge of Westview’s innovative and successful programs and practices makes him the perfect leader to support Westview’s vision and learning community,” said Supt. Collins. “He is an outstanding educator who will continue the strong college readiness initiative at Westview.”
Cassen’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in physical education from Long Beach State University, and a Master of Arts degree in Educational Administration from National University.
“As a teacher, athletic director, area administrator/assistant principal and now principal I have seen the entire Westview community grow and develop together, and I look forward to continuing this partnership. I believe that Westview’s vision of connecting all students to the campus, setting high standards, opening access to challenging course work, and providing student support structures sets a framework from which we will continue to focus our work,” said Cassen. “I am proud and honored to be Westview’s principal and have the opportunity to work with the Westview community at one of the top high schools in the nation.”
Cassen lives in the community of Carlsbad with his wife Amber and their two children: Haylee, age five, and two-year old Avery.