Shaun Nelms, deputy superintendent of East High School, under its new partnership with the University of Rochester, has announced Marlene Blocker will become East High School’s principal for the lower school, grades six through nine, and Anibal Soler, current principal at East, will retain his position as principal of the upper school, serving grades 10 through 12.
Blocker is founding principal of the Rochester Early College International High School; the school has not yet announced her replacement.
“We are excited to build a team that will be responsive to the greater needs of the East community,” said Nelms. “Anibal and Marlene demonstrated throughout the interview process a commitment toward staff development, student achievement, family support, and their own personal growth as leaders.”
Nelms said both principals will support the new ninth grade academy, in an effort to track and monitor student progress.
Both will work directly with Nelms, who will oversee the day-to-day operations of the East High Educational Partnership Organization (EPO) plan, according to officials.
Soler has been principal of East since 2009, and had reportedly been unsure whether the school would keep him in the position during its transition to University of Rochester management. He previously served RCSD as the Academy Director at Charlotte High School from 2006-09, and had been recognized as a White House Champion of Change in 2014 for his work in the Latino community, and as a Latino educator. Soler is a doctoral candidate in educational leadership at the Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester, and holds an M.S. in educational leadership from St. John Fisher College, an M.S. in educational technology from Nazareth College, and a B.S. in art education from Daemen College.
Previously, Blocker had been principal of Francis Parker School No. 22 from 2002 to 2010, assistant principal of John Walton Spencer School No. 16 from 2001 to 2002, and a teacher and lead teacher/mentor at General Elwell S. Otis School No. 30 from 1988 to 2001. She holds an M.S. in elementary education from SUNY Brockport, and a B.A. in early childhood education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The University of Rochester assumes full management responsibilities for East on July 1. Nelms is currently on site at East overseeing the hiring of all staff.
Officials said students will have the option to enter East by choice, with priority given to students living in proximity to the school.
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