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Founding Principal Announced for the New Kathleen MacDonald High School

Kathleen MacDonald High School will open its doors to students in fall 2022. Founding principal, Dr. Vivian Rhone-Lay, will spend this next school year building the school’s educational design, hiring teachers and support staff, and building community.

She received her Bachelor of Arts in interdisciplinary studies from UC Berkeley, and her Master of Arts and doctorate in education from UC Santa Barbara. Dr. Rhone-Lay comes to Santa Clara Unified School District from East Side High School District where she is the principal of Santa Teresa High School. 

During her tenure at Santa Teresa High School, some of her accomplishments in that role are:

  • Built collaborative teams within and across departments and grade levels to establish aligned school goals. 
  • Cultivated a shared leadership model (e.g., delegation with training, shared visioning, and challenge-solving). 
  • Established a new equity-focused collaboration with the Lemelson-MIT Program. 
  • Redesigned the Computer Science and Multimedia Academy lottery system and master schedule build process. 
  • Implemented a push-in/co-teaching model to support students with disabilities in general education classes. 
  • Lead the implementation of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) to transform teaching and learning.
  • Engaged students, staff, parents, and community members through various platforms, councils, and committees. 

Other notable accomplishments:

  • Santa Clara County Office of Education Asian American Pacific Islander Educators Mentorship Program presenter
  • Asian Pacific American Leadership Institute at De Anza College
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges Visiting Committee member
  • UC Santa Cruz Extension program chair and instructor
  • U.S. Department of Education grant reviewer

Dr. Rhone-Lay says she finds the prospect of working for Santa Clara Unified School District and launching a new high school in collaboration with the district and the MacDonald High School community “absolutely invigorating!” 

Congratulations and welcome to SCUSD!