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Meet Our New Principals!

The Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) is pleased to announce the selection of new principals to lead Norma Coombs Elementary School, McKinley School, and Webster Elementary.

Debra Lucas principal of Norma Coombs Norma Coombs Elementary 
Debra Lucas is the new Principal of Norma Coombs Elementary School.

“I am pleased to appoint Ms. Lucas as Principal of Norma Coombs Elementary,” said Interim Superintendent David Verdugo, Ed.D.  “With her experience as an instructional leader and track record of developing innovative partnerships that enrich student learning, Norma Coombs will be ready to launch into the future.”

Ms. Lucas was selected after a thorough process that included input from Norma Coombs Elementary stakeholders. The contract is scheduled for ratification by the Board of Education on August 29, 2019.

This year, Norma Coombs Elementary will introduce “Code to the Future,” the computer science immersion program that gives students exciting opportunities to learn the fundamentals of computer coding as an integrated part of their daily curriculum. Through this 21st century digital literacy, students develop critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration skills.

Ms. Lucas served as principal of Cleveland Elementary from 2016 to June 2019. Under her leadership at Cleveland Elementary, Cleveland Elementary developed a focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math), with classes taught weekly by visiting Caltech scientists. Previously, she was a District Elementary Instructional Coach and was part of the district’s Curriculum Revision Workshop Team that made PUSD an early adopter of the new state learning standards.  Ms. Lucas was a Curriculum Resource Teacher and Language Development Resource Teacher at Longfellow Elementary School. She began her career in PUSD in 1997.

“I am very proud to continue serving Pasadena Unified School District as principal of Norma Coombs Elementary School,” said Ms. Lucas. “In line with the school’s mission, I am confident that as a learning community we will demonstrate perseverance, commit to excellence, inspire leadership, build futures, and achieve the impossible as we discover every child’s gifts through collaboration, innovation, and literacy.” 

Ms. Lucas has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance Therapy from New York University; a teaching credential from California State University, Dominguez Hills; and a Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership and Administrative Services Credential from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego.

McKinley School 
Germaine Nesbitt is the new principal of McKinley School.  (announced July 9, 2019)

Germaine Nesbitt Germaine Nesbitt is the new principal of McKinley School, which serves students in kindergarten through eighth grade. She joins PUSD from The School of Arts and Enterprise, a 6-12th grade school in Pomona where she served as Director since 2013. Ms. Nesbitt has 20 years of experience as an instructional leader in project-based learning, and was a math and business teacher for 10 years. She also helped develop a middle school STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) program. 

“I am excited to be a part of the McKinley School team and prepare our students for the 21st century creative economy,” said Ms. Nesbitt. “The McKinley staff has continually demonstrated a commitment to excellence and dedication to student growth and development. I believe that the arts positively impact student achievement.  I’m committed to continue to promote arts access for all students and to provide a safe and supportive environment for students to excel academically and feel a sense of belonging. I believe every student counts!”

 Ms. Nesbitt began her career in education in 1992 as a special education support staff member in the Morgan Hill Unified School District.   Prior to becoming an educator, Ms. Nesbitt worked in financial management and marketing for Fortune 100 and 500 companies, including GTE and First Texas Bank. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Cal Poly Pomona; a Master of Arts in Educational Administration from California State University, San Bernardino; and an Administrative Services Credential from the University of California, Irvine, and California State University, San Bernardino.

Webster Elementary
Kristin Forrest is the new principal of Webster Elementary. (announced July 9, 2019)

Kristin Forrest brings more than 20 years of experience as an educator to her new position as principal of Webster Elementary School, which serves students in kindergarten through fifth grade. She has served as an Instructional Coach at Sierra Madre Middle School and Pasadena High School in 2018-2019 and at Jefferson Elementary School from 2013-2018, where she was also the school’s Language Development Resource Teacher. She has previously worked at Eliot Middle School and Jackson Elementary School and began her career as a third grade teacher at Longfellow Elementary School. 

“I am honored to serve as principal of Webster Elementary School.  I am proud to have taught in the Pasadena Unified School District for the past 22 years and to also be the parent of three PUSD alumni," said Ms. Forrest. “I look forward to fostering strong relationships among staff, teachers, parents, and community members to benefit our students.  I am confident that together we will guide our students to be the innovators and critical thinkers of the future.”  

Ms. Forrest has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles; a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from California State University Los Angeles; and an Administrative Credential in Educational Leadership from Cal Poly Pomona.