Alliance Gertz-Ressler/
Richard Merkin 6-12 Complex

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New Principal Update

Dear RMMS Community,

Over the past year, we have recruited principal candidates throughout the nation to ensure that we select the very best leaders for our schools. We began with a recruitment pool of over 700 school leader candidates. From that pool, we brought strong finalists in for a full-day of interviews and performance tasks. These candidates visited school sites and, at RMMS specifically, two candidates were brought in to meet a select group of teachers, support staff, administrators, and parents. As a result, we have spent the last two weeks vetting both candidates to determine their level of compatibility with the school community and their strengths compared to other available candidates in the pool.

After an extensive search, we are excited to announce that ​Shanayna Harnage will be recommended to the RMMS school board to be selected for Principal of Richard Merkin Middle School. Throughout the selection process, Ms. Harnage showed that her background, educational expertise, and leadership approach make her a strong fit to lead Merkin forward. A native of Los Angeles, Ms. Harnage is excited to return to Los Angeles to find a home at Alliance in a community that she understands so deeply.

Ms. Harnage is a collaborative leader with a clear vision for excellence. In her current role as a Principal in Resident in Kansas City Schools, she has driven double digit increases student achievement in both ELA and math. Grounded in the importance of families as partners, Ms. Harnage has increased student and family participation in positive behavior supports, driving towards a positive and safe school culture. Her expertise in instructional and cultural leadership, and her work with English Language Learners and students with disabilities, will help the Merkin community build on its successes and celebrate the many strengths of the RMMS and Pico-Union community.

Ms. Harnage is deeply committed to increasing access to college by providing high quality education to all students. She is a graduate of the distinguished University of California, Berkeley earning a degree in Social Welfare and attended Henry Clay Middle School and Washington Preparatory High School.

Please join me for an opportunity to meet and greet Ms. Harnage on ​Monday, July 1st from 4-6pm ​on campus. ​We will come together in celebration of the 4th of July as a community to share your experiences at Merkin. ​I will also be available on ​Wednesday, June 26th from 5-6pm to provide additional information on the hiring process and answer any questions that you may have. I can also be reached by email ​​ or by phone (213) 943- 4930.

June 13, 2019


Jillian Juman
Instructional Superintendent




Querida Comunidad de RMMS,

13 de junio del 2019

En este último año hemos reclutado candidatos para director por todo el país para asegurar que obtengamos los mejores líderes para nuestras escuelas. Empezamos con más de 700 candidatos. De esos candidatos, invitamos a finalistas a entrevistar todo el día para demostrar sus habilidades. Esos candidatos visitaron sitios de escuela y en Merkin específicamente, dos candidatos fueron introducidos a un grupo de maestros, personal de apoyo, administradores, y padres. Como resultado, hemos eliminado y analizando candidatos para determinar su nivel de compatibilidad con la comunidad de la escuela y su nivel de habilidades en comparación a las de otros candidatos por dos semanas.

Después de esta búsqueda intensiva, nos da gusto anunciar que ​Shanayna Harnage será recomendada al Consejo Escolar de RMMS para ser seleccionada como Directora de Richard Merkin Middle School. Durante el proceso de selección, la Srta. Harnage demostró que su historial, experiencia de educación, y su manera de abordar liderazgo la hacen una opción fuerte para dirigir a Merkin en el futuro. Nacida en Los Ángeles, la Srta. Harnage está emocionada en regresar a Los Ángeles para encontrar un hogar en Alliance en una comunidad que entiende profundamente.

La Srta. Harnage es una líder colaborativa con una visión clara de excelencia. En su papel actual de directora en residencia en las escuelas de Kansas City, ella ha incrementado cifras academicas por el doble en desempeño de estudiantes en lectura y en matemáticas. Su enfoque está en darle importancia a las familias como socios. La Srta. Harnage ha incrementado la participación de familias y estudiantes con apoyo de comportamiento positivo, y ha formado una cultura escolar positiva y segura. Su experiencia en liderazgo instruccional y cultural ayudará a la comunidad de Merkin a construir éxitos y celebrar las aptitudes de la comunidad de RMMS y de Pico-Union.