A new principal takes the wheel

Ms. Kimberly Noble holds down the fort as acting principal while staff and students anticipate the return of Principal Lourdes De Santiago.
Ms. Kimberly Noble, the schools current acting principal, was previously an instructional director for the LAUSD Local District Northeast.
Ms. Kimberly Noble, the school’s current acting principal, was previously an instructional director for the LAUSD Local District Northeast.

There’s a new sheriff in town. Except she wears a signature black puffer jacket instead of a cow-hide vest, and prefers a classy up-do to the stereotypical cowboy hat.

Ms. Kimberly Noble is the school’s acting principal until Principal Lourdes De Santiago returns.

Approximately two weeks ago, Principal De Santiago was temporarily removed from the school by the district for undisclosed reasons. Assistant Principal Marc Strassner stepped into her shoes as acting principal for about a week, before a more suitable replacement for Ms. De Santiago was found.

Ms. Noble, the school’s current acting principal, formerly served as an interim and standing principal at other schools like Washington Irving Middle School and Sepulveda Middle School. 

She was also previously an instructional director for the LAUSD Local District Northeast. There, Noble supervised Panorama High School and Panorama Middle School, as well as Verdugo Hills High School, Sun Valley Magnet School, Polytechnic High School and Fulton High School.

She worked closely with these schools’ principals to tackle issues, including but not limited to chronic absenteeism, to reduce the number of chronically absent students.

“The directors have a familiarity with me, my work style and the fact that I have a no-nonsense approach and a sense of humor,” Noble said.

Ms. Noble also has a personal relationship with the school, as her daughter graduated from the Medical Magnet in 2016.

“My daughter thrived in the marching band each of the four years she was here, so I always admired this school’s programs,” she said. “I always thought in the back of my mind that this would be a great school to lead, and so when I received the call to come to Van Nuys, I was awestruck and excited.”

She emphasizes her willingness to assist and support the team here. 

Ms. Noble admires the support provided at this school in regards to social-emotional learning and mental health.

“You guys have a school climate advocate, counselors and not just grade level counselors, but also the A-G counselors, and I find this very important because it’s a form of encouragement so that students have a sense of belonging,” she said.

To her, being a principal means establishing a balance between all aspects of the school to run smoothly and effectively. This occupation requires an ability and willingness to listen, with an emphasis on proactivity and urgency. 

“Our whole goal with LAUSD is to make sure our graduates are college prepared and career ready, and Van Nuys has an exceptional amount of advanced placement courses,” she said. “Things like that are what prepare students for college. It’s magnificent.”

Ms. Noble was present during the school’s annual Hearts Day Festival and Black History Month Concert. She stresses her love for the school spirit the staff and students exuberate. 

“I love Van Nuys’ school spirit,” she said. “If I was a student here, I’d love this climate. I see why my daughter liked Van Nuys High School.”

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About the Contributor
Olamide Olumide, News/Features Editor
From writing stories at the back of my elementary school notebooks to my unhealthy obsession with law-themed shows, (especially Lucifer), I've always loved telling and reading stories. As a returning staff member to the Mirror publication, I intend to explore my interest in writing in a more in-depth way as well as reporting stories in a dynamic and interesting perspective. Besides writing and law, I'm an absolute sucker for the kpop industry.
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