New principals, assistant superintendent selected in Del Mar district

The DMUSD office building in Torrey Hills.
The DMUSD office building in Torrey Hills.

(Karen Billing)

The Del Mar Union School District will welcome new principals at Sycamore Ridge and Carmel Del Mar Schools this fall.

At the June 21 board meeting, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Ryan Stanley announced that Dr. Patrick Hefflin will be the new leader at Sycamore Ridge and Francisco Leivera was named the new principal at Carmel Del Mar.

Hefflin brings experience as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and superintendent in the Julian Union High School District, where she has worked for the last seven years. Stanley said she is known for her positive energy and collaborative nature: “You just can’t help but notice the warmth that she exudes.”

Hefflin thanked the district for having confidence in her and said she was eager to start school in the fall.

“I know the kids need a break during the summer but once I’m back in the office I’m looking forward to the families and the kids popping their heads in just to say hello,” she said.

Hefflin is taking over for Principal Chelsea Moore, who is moving over to Pacific Sky School.

Leivera, who goes by “Frankie”, has been a teacher, literacy specialist and most recently served as principal at Maryland Elementary School in Vista Unified. Stanley said he comes highly regarded for the positive relationships he builds with students, families and staff.

“I’m truly honored and excited to be part of this organization and I’m really eager just to get started and make that meaningful contribution to CDM,” Leivera said.

Leivera replaces Julie Lerner, who left for a position in the Poway Unified School District.

The board’s June 21 board meeting was marked the last for Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services Shelley Petersen. Superintendent Holly McClurg was tearful speaking about Petersen’s leadership and her contributions to the district over the last 18 years, both as a principal at Ashley Falls and an administrator.

Stanley announced that Pacific Sky School Principal Allison Fieberg has been named the new assistant superintendent, after an extensive search process. Fieberg has been in the district for 18 years as a teacher and assistant principal—she was principal at Sage Canyon before opening the new Pacific Sky.

The board approved a three-year contract with Fieberg starting July 1 with an annual salary of $191,000.