Rosanne Lampariello has made her way from the hood to Mammoth. (Photo: Kirkner)
Getting to know MES’ new principal
When Rosanne Lampariello rode into Mammoth as the new Elementary School Principal, she knew there were some hurdles she would have to overcome, but the energetic Italian didn’t let that hold her back.
“My husband and I wanted to move here,” Lampariello, now in her seventh month at Mammoth Elementary explained. “Mammoth is my ideal.”
And it seems that Lampariello was Mammoth’s ideal as well.
“I found the open position for principal on the day the application was due,” she said. Since there wasn’t enough time for her to turn in her application that day she called school administration and explained her situation.
“I spoke with Kathy Emerick who said just go ahead and send in my application,” Lampariello recalled.
Late or not, Lampariello snagged the job. Her husband, Todd Cameron, was offered his job teaching at the Jill Kinmont Boothe School in Bishop on the same day that Lampariello was offered hers at Mammoth Elementary. The news came only two hours apart, and had the couple and their three young children (Lampariello also has a stepson who is 24) quickly uprooting from their home in San Pedro, Calif. and heading to Mammoth.
The couple already had some background in Mammoth so they knew what they knew what they were in for.
“We got married in Mammoth by Judge Eller while he was on his lunch break. My husband also lived up here in the 80s.”
Lampariello is originally from Long Island, New York, and went to school in Upstate New York, just one hour away from the school that Superintendent Rich Boccia attended, though not at the same time, she pointed out.
Her first job out of college was as a market research analyst for Univision. Part of her job was to judge television shows for the Emmys. One particular show about Melrose Elementary immediately inspired her to become a teacher. Even though her dream of actually working in the school from the show was immediately crushed (Basically someone has to die before they give their position at Melrose Elementary, she said), Lampariello has collected 19 years in education, with 10 of those in the classroom.
She spent eight as a teacher at LA Unified School District, two on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, several years as a bilingual coordinator in Watts, and six years as the Assistant Principal at Barton Hill Elementary in San Pedro.
“I come from the hood,” she said with a laugh. “Mammoth is so beautiful and it’s so not L.A. San Pedro was about as small as you can get and its population is about 70,000.”
While Lampariello did not realize she would be the fifth principal in two years at the elementary school, she was cognizant that the campus had experienced a lot of turnover.
“Now that I’m here, I don’t understand why,” she said. “We have great staff that is amazingly dedicated. When I drive by on the weekends, the parking lot is half full of people working on the weekends. I am in paradise and excited to be working here.”
Besides the turnover, Lampariello also familiarized herself with another of the elementary school’s big challenges.
“I was intimidated by the controversy surrounding the Dual Immersion program before I came,” she said. “I did a lot of research because even though I taught in dual immersion years ago it was a 90/10 class, not a 50/50 class like we have here.”
So far, however, Lampariello feels like the DI situation has mellowed since she has arrived.
“The 50/50 DI is a chore,” she explained. “Certain things have to be done in English so it is always difficult to get enough Spanish in.” But staffing and class capacities have, at least for this year, been figured out.
“We are good with staff, we have two DI teachers for each class,” she said. Lampariello also helped institute the World Language for All kindergarten class at the beginning of the 2010/11 school year. It was the solution for the overcrowding that was beginning to occur in DI. Rather then leave some students out of the mix altogether, Lampariello, with the help of Boccia, implemented World Language for All.
Rather than DI, where students receive content in both Spanish and English, World Language for All is a short period each day where the students are taught Spanish language and vocabulary.
“It turned out well because some people who were in DI actually preferred to be in the World Language for All,” Lampariello explained. This opened spaces in DI for those students who wanted to be in the program but would have otherwise been left out. The next challenge, however, is what to do with the students in the World Language for All class when they move on to first grade next year.
“It’s all about choices, but it’s also all about staffing,” Lampariello said, admitting they haven’t quite figured out the progression.
Other programs outside of DI that Lampariello is working to improve include trying to tackle the needs of the gifted kids. The plan is to give them a little more to do during their independent practice.
“There have been plans made for this segment of students, but no one has stayed long enough to follow through,” she said.
Another important project is the implementation of a new data program called OARS, which went online on Feb. 1. Recently, Lampariello began a hunt for DI data to see how the program is actually performing. What she and the staff helping her found was that a lot of the data they were looking for was not filed properly, and often not in the database at all. Staff had to dig out paper documents in many cases, and often gaps in data were still present.
“With consistent leadership and OARS, we are good to go,” Lampariello said optimistically. “We are rolling into the 21st century. Consistency is a big deal and will lead to more student successes.”
*At the time of this post Lampariello and her staff were still compiling data for the fifth grade DI class to compare to the sixth grade data that was described in last week’s story titled “Do the Statistics Lie?”