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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | EAST COUNTY / SIMI VALLEY

New Schools Chief Steps Into Job

October 02, 1998|TONY LYSTRA

A new school superintendent began her first day on the job Thursday in Simi Valley--the city's eighth schools chief in as many years.

Teachers, parents and district officials have high hopes for Joyce Mahdesian, who began her teaching career at Simi Valley Unified and held teaching and administrative positions there from 1970 to 1982. She was hired in late July by the Simi Valley school board on a 3-2 vote.

"Finally, they're going to get somebody in here who knows what they're doing," said Carol Walden, a first-grade teacher at Township Elementary School.

Mahdesian reacquainted herself with Walden and other staff members as she toured the five district schools where she worked in the 1970s--Simi Valley High, Township Elementary, Santa Susana Elementary, Garden Grove Elementary and Vista Fundamental schools.

"The superintendency is a pressure job," Mahdesian said. She added that bringing together diverse opinions is part of the territory.

"It's reasonable for reasonable people to disagree," she said. "It happens. Split decisions aren't necessarily bad."

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