The Waukesha School District announced a new principal for Bethesda Elementary School during their school board meeting Wednesday, July 13.

The district named Stella Miranda, the associate principal at Rufus King International School-High School Campus, as the school's new leader. Miranda is a seasoned educator with 20 years of teaching experience with Milwaukee Public Schools. She has been Rufus King's associate principal for a year.

'She has a strong background in staff evaluation and development, curriculum and educational instruction,' Board member Patricia Madden said, 'She effectively leads student discipline and the learning climate.'

One of the qualifications that made Miranda stand out was her bilingual skills, and her effectiveness at working with diverse populations of students, parents and staff. Miranda is fluent in Spanish, an ability that was important to the district.

'Finding a leader with the bilingual talents she has, with the dual language program we have at Bethesda, what a nice find, what a great, great match,' School Board President Joesph Como said.

The search for Bethesda's new principal wasn't easy. The district began their search in early May and had a pool of 92 applicants, nine of which were chosen in-person interviews, including Miranda who received high accolades from the interview team at Bethesda, according to Assistant Superintendent of HR and Labor Christine Hedstrom. The staff were unanimous in their choice that Miranda would be a good leader at Bethesda.

'I do feel pretty lucky, it took a long time, but I think that things happen for the best and I have high hopes here,' Hedstrom said.

Miranda received her Specialist in Education degree from Capella University in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and she earned her Masters of Education degree from National Louis University. She will begin as principal starting the 2016-2017 school year, taking the place of Melissa Yow who was named the new director of elementary learning for the district.

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