Trustees approve new middle school principal, staff promotions

Jose Bermudez will serve as the new Winters Middle School principal for the upcoming school year. (Crystal Apilado/Winters Express)

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The Board of Trustees approved a new principal for Winters Middle School at its May 4 meeting.

Lisa Dennis, human resources director, broke down details of the search at the Winters Joint Unified School Board meeting, noting that of the eight applications received, two candidates were selected to interview in front of a panel of WMS teachers, parents, and Winters JUSD classified staff and leadership as well as with the Winters JUSD Cabinet Team.

Of the two finalists, Jose Bermudez was selected. Bermudez is a Winters High School graduate from the Class of 2001. He has 17 years of experience in education, with eight of them in school administration.

“Mr. Bermudez is a student-centered leader who prides himself on building relationships with staff, students, parents and the community. An engaged Winters resident, Mr. Bermudez understands the Winters community and is committed to ensuring that every student is afforded the opportunity to succeed,” Dennis said. “The Winters Middle School team wanted someone who was supportive of teachers and students, collaborative, and invested in the community. We are confident that Mr. Bermudez will be a great fit at Winters Middle School and a tremendous asset to Winters JUSD.”

Superintendent Rody Boonchouy said they “were thoroughly impressed with the leadership and the background” as well as Bermudez’s “deep familiarity with Winters.”

“Not only do we want to welcome him to the team but we’d also like to welcome him home,” Boonchouy said.

The fiscal impact of the hire is an annual compensation of $144,473.

Trustees approved Bermudez’s placement unanimously.

Bermudez was present at the meeting, and proudly sported a WMS T-shirt under his blazer. He told trustees he grew up in Winters and was active in the community through his children’s activities. He said, “Given the opportunity to apply now is a very humbling experience and opportunity and I look forward to all of the challenges” coming his way at the WMS.

WMS principal Dawn Delorefice will be returning to the classroom for the 2023-24 school year. In the fall, Delorefice will step into the role of a WMS teacher. Delorefice first joined Winters JUSD as the Winter High School Assistant Principal in 2019. She shifted roles to serve as WMS principal in 2021.

Delorefice will continue in his role as the WMS principal for the remainder of the 2022-23 school year. Bermudez’s first day is expected to be in July, however, Dennis confirmed that the date had not been confirmed as
of the meeting.

Other business
Trustees also approved the promotion of Omar Murillo from the computer support specialist to senior technology support specialist. Murillo began working at Winters JUSD in 2020.

“In the past three years, we have watched Omar’s professional growth as he supports all staff technology challenges, manages Chromebook maintenance and repair, and steps up to handle any challenges that may arise,” Dennis said.

The fiscal impact effective May 1 is $57,340.

Oscar Jacobo, maintenance and operations supervisor, was also approved to be promoted to the role of director of facilities and maintenance. Jacobo began working at Winters JUSD in 2016 where he served as the lead maintenance technician before stepping into his current role in 2019. According to Dennis, Jacobo recently expanded upon his leadership skills by completing courses at North Bay Schools Supervisor Academy.

The fiscal impact effective May 1 is $90,229.

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