Charter School Gets New Principal From Menifee School District

An administrator from the Menifee Union School District will become principal of Santa Rosa Academ...

An administrator from the Menifee Union School District will become principal of Santa Rosa Academy charter school this upcoming academic year.

Midge James, formerly principal of Herk Bouris Elementary School, will replace Laura Badillo as principal of Santa Rosa Academy, a charter school located on La Piedra Road. Badillo (at right in the photo) will relinquish her position as principal to James in order to fully commit time to her role as executive director of the school -- a role similar to superintendent.

“We had always planned a separation between the executive director role and the principal role,” Badillo said in an email on Wednesday. “Because the school has grown, the need for that separation is apparent now.”

Badillo is one of the founders of Santa Rosa Academy, a school that was chartered out of the Menifee Union School District in 2005. She’s known James since its inception; James served as a representative of the district on the Santa Rosa school board for the past nine years.

“She knew right off the bat that she wanted to be a part of Santa Rosa Academy,” said Badillo. “We are so excited to have an administrator of her caliber on staff.”

Badillo said she’s held multiple positions since the academy has grown, and is relieved to be able to pass on her principal role to James. During her first several years with the academy, Badillo worked as a custodian, teacher, counselor and more, all on top of being principal and executive director.

“As a charter school grows over the years, you see the need to take off ‘hats’ and distribute roles to new employees,” she said. “I am happy to take off the last hat.”

Now that James will become principal, Badillo said this would free up her time to focus on the business side of the school and more. She will focus on keeping the school fiscally solvent and work on developing the building projects for a gym, performing arts center and baseball field.

According to Betti Cadmus, public information officer for the district, James (right) has been with the Menifee Union School District for over 20 years. She described James as a “wonderful, beloved” principal who will be missed.

“Midge has been a great principal and a great asset to our school district, and I’m sure she’ll be a great asset to theirs as well,” Cadmus said. “We’ll continue to work very closely with her, as we have a wonderful relationship with our charter school.”

Cadmus said the district is in the process of hiring a new principal to fill in for James at Herk Bouris Elementary, and that there are many great candidates to choose from. She said they will have the position filled by the time school starts in August.

In regards to the four principal switches that were recently made within the district, Cadmus said James leaving would not affect those changes.

Daphne Donoho, principal at Callie Kirkpatrick Elementary, is moving to Oak Meadows Elementary. Manny Valdes moves from Oak Meadows to Chester W. Morrision. Lynn Hanke will move from Chester W. Morrison to Callie Kirkpatrick. In addition, Hans Christensen Middle School principal Ed Resnick is being moved to Menifee Valley Middle School.

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