Placentia-Yorba Linda USD Welcomes Principals

Cynthia Alvarez, Principal at Melrose Elementary School – An educator with 18 years of experience, Alvarez is a resident of the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District. Her children attended Sierra Vista Elementary, Tuffree Middle School, and El Dorado High. Alvarez started her career as an elementary teacher with El Rancho Unified School District. The district office then tapped her to serve as a resource specialist coordinating English learner programs. She then served nine years as principal at the same elementary school that she attended as a child. She now joins the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District as the principal of Melrose Elementary School.

Kelli Keller, Principal at Glenview Elementary School – Keller comes from the Orange Unified School District. Most recently, she served as principal of an elementary school that in 2012 was named a National Blue Ribbon School, which is perhaps the highest award of recognition for an elementary school. Her career originally started as a middle school and high school teacher with the Manhattan Beach Unified School District before becoming an assistant principal of an elementary school in El Segundo and, subsequently, in Orange. There, she was first a middle school assistant principal and then an elementary assistant principal.

• Connie Roe, Principal at Van Buren Elementary School – Not only has Roe served as a classroom teacher with the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District for 13 years, she and her children also attended local schools. As a child, Roe attended Morse Elementary and Kraemer Middle schools. Her children attended Wagner, Tuffree and El Dorado. As a teacher, Roe consistently served on numerous curriculum and instruction leadership assignments at both her school and the district level. For example, she served on the gifted and talented education task force and also assisted in the development of the school district’s highly-popular transitional kindergarten program, better known as “Preppy K.” In 2012, Roe was named assistant principal at Travis Ranch School. Now, she will be the new principal at Van Buren Elementary School.

• Rick Lopez, Principal at Valencia High School – Lopez is a familiar face and long-time team member of Valencia High School’s exemplary administrative leadership team, which launched the school’s highly successful International Baccalaureate program. The school is also regularly featured as one of “America’s Top High Schools” in rankings by the Washington Post, Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report. Lopez first joined the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District as a supervisor in the district’s Child Welfare and Attendance Office responsible for assisting students with crisis intervention, dropout prevention and other services to keep at-risk students in school. In 2003, he joined El Dorado High School’s counseling team where he served for three years before moving to Valencia High School. There, he has served as Assistant Principal of Student Services and, most recently, as Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction.

New principal assignments are due to staff retirements or vacancies. The first day of school for Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified students is on September 2.


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