Williams administrators leave for bigger school districts

Outgoing Williams High School Principal Dr. Nicholas Richter accepts an Apple Award from Superintendent Edgar Lampkin on June 12, 2019 for his seven years of service to the school district. (Susan Meeker)

Two top administrators for Williams Unified School District were recognized last week for services rendered.

Nicholas Richter, principal of Williams Jr./Sr. High School, and Leticia Castaneda, principal at Williams Elementary School, have resigned from the district to take jobs in larger school districts in Northern California.

Richter will assume the role of principal of Roseville High School, a school with nearly 2,000 students, on July 1. Castaneda is taking a position with West Contra Costa Unified School District, in Richmond, and will be in charge of the district’s multilingual/multi-cultural programs for their 13 schools.

Each received an Apple Award from Superintendent Edgar Lampkin, on behalf of the Board of Trustees, during the school board’s regular meeting on June 12, as a reminder of the contributions they have given to the district and the students.

Outgoing Williams Elementary School Principal Leticia Castaneda receives an Apple Award on June 12 from Superintendent Edgar Lampkin for her service to Williams Unified School District. (Susan Meeker)

Lampkin said that in the seven years Richter has been with the district, he made a tremendous impact at the school, including graduating a higher percentage of seniors who are ready for college, largely due the relationship he established with Woodland College.

Lampkin also acknowledged Richter’s effort that Williams High School has the first College and Career Access Pathways Partnership Agreement in California under Assembly Bill 288.

Although more than half of the graduating class of 2019 took at least one college course, dual enrollment at Williams High School will be fully implemented next year so that students can begin earning associate’s degrees at no expense by the time they finish high school.

“As far as we know, we don’t know of any other model for a comprehensive high school to covert to an early college high school,” Richter said. “We are doing something absolutely unprecedented here.”

Castaneda served one year as principal of the elementary school, having served previously as vice-principal of the Jr./Sr. High School.

Lampkin recognized her exemplary effort to increase parental involvement in their children’s education.

“One of the things that stands out is that she takes teaching strategies and models them for parents, and helps parents understand what that strategy is,” Lampkin said. “She even did that with our school board.”

Lamkin said the school district was sad to see their administrators leave, but was proud of the opportunities that have been presented to them.

Richter’s replacement has not yet been hired.

Amanda Zimmerman, from Marguerite Montgomery Elementary in the Davis Unified School District, has been hired to replace Castaneda.