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Rio Vista School Gets Bilingual Principal

September 02, 1993

ANAHEIM — Rio Vista Elemenary will start the academic year with a new principal, but she is no stranger to many of the school's 1,200 students.

Kathy Pritchard, the school's assistant principal for two years, was promoted to the top spot last week. She replaces John McClanahan, who was transferred to Golden Avenue Elementary in Placentia as part of a routine rotation of administrators.

Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District officials decided to fill the position with a bilingual principal to foster better communication between the school, which is about 60% Latino, and parents. School figures show that about 60% of the Latino students do not speak English, and officials estimate the number of parents who do not speak English is much higher.

"It is important that the principal be bilingual because about 500 families in the school prefer to communicate in Spanish," Pritchard said. "It's not just an academic need (because) schools have become almost a social service agency."

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