Maricela Brambila named Willard’s new principal

By Matthew Rodriguez

For the new faculty yr, Willard Elementary will start out with a new principal, Maricela Brambila. She replaces Dr. Angela Elizondo Baxter, who helmed the college for 6 decades.

“I have usually had a profound respect for the fantastic operate of Dr. Baxter and the personnel at Willard,” Brambila said.

“I am honored to have an opportunity to keep on and create on that operate within the IB Major A long time Method. I appear forward to meeting and mastering from our learners, households and personnel, most importantly to an wonderful school yr.”

Brambila, born in west Altadena and an alumna of John Muir Large Faculty, has labored in the Pasadena Unified School District for practically 30 many years. She commenced as a bilingual tutorial aide in 1994 prior to educating English at Blair Significant College and later on at the Language Assessment and Progress Division until eventually 2011.

A short while ago, she labored as the assistant principal at Pasadena Superior and Blair Middle and Large educational institutions.

“I sense grateful to this group, due to the fact I truly feel in some strategies that it’s just offered me a great deal,” Brambila reported. “I sense like this is a way that I can help. … There were being points that I know could have performed a lot more back then and items that I see putting in area now. It’s definitely remarkable.”

In 2005, Willard Elementary turned an International Baccalaureate college, featuring learners a far more demanding application concentrating on crucial pondering and trouble-fixing capabilities. Established in Geneva in 1968, the IB system was established to provide a secure curriculum for people, these types of as diplomats, who traveled the world. The application has considering the fact that come to be globe renowned and existing in more than 5,500 educational institutions throughout 159 countries.

“The idea at the rear of (IB system) is for learners to become really self-directed learners,” Brambila said.

The IB software, amid other areas, has assisted Willard turn into a renowned college identified as a Title I Academic Accomplishment college by the California Division of Instruction. The IB application and Willard’s reputation as a great school are what convinced Brambila to enroll her youngsters there.

“I’ve performed my homework. Willard is the college for me,” Brambila recalled about when she enrolled her youngsters at Willard. “We hardly ever appeared back. Hardly ever for a next. It was an great option for our kids.”

With her working experience as a Willard parent, Brambila mentioned it was nostalgic to see her children’s former instructors and tour the campus.

“It’s like currently being the kid that remaining for a very little even though,” she explained. “I was owning nostalgic times. I recall when I dropped my son off here for kindergarten and peeking in the window and essentially remaining advised, ‘It’s time to go.’”

Brambila mentioned she hopes to continue on Willard’s custom of superb instruction, specially following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When we come back, we’re heading to give some of the academics a tiny bit of time to start out searching at their present-day models and see if there is some tweaking that they can do to bolster that portion,” Brambila reported.

Brambila also programs to reestablish the IB program and tackle the finding out gaps created through COVID-19 by means of accelerated discovering.

“This is one thing that commenced as far again as Hurricane Katrina,” PUSD spokesperson Hilda Ramirez Horvath said. “Instead of having learners sit for a thirty day period and review materials that they have missed, it is discovering that quality-degree substance and then undertaking these just-in-time interventions.”

Just-in-time learning is a teaching approach that addresses the gaps of analyze particularly when it is required. For instance, if a college student missed California history the calendar year before, it will be dealt with when they are mastering about California during colonial historical past the next yr.

As she returns to the faculty immediately after sending her youngsters there several years right before, Brambila said she is psyched to carry on to present the renowned schooling to many others.

“Obviously going into it, you are generally a tiny anxious at 1st,” Brambila mentioned. “But they’ve been amazing. I’m psyched. As the far more time wears on the a lot more thrilled I get.”