Diana Harford announced her resignation as Summerville High School principal Monday to take the position of director of school and district support beginning July 1 with the Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools Office.

Harford, 50, of Sonora, will complete 22 years at Summerville High School by the end of the school year. She began as a grade level coordinator in 1996, and rose through the ranks as an assistant principal and principal of Connections Visual and Performance Academy before serving two years as the principal of both Summerville High School and Connections Academy.

“I love the community of Summerville. I’ve made lots of great friendships here, and I look forward to being back for games and events,” she said.

Harford’s contract with Summerville High School ends on June 30 and she will begin on July 1 with the county office.

In her new position, Harford said she will provide guidance and support to county school districts on curriculum, professional development, special projects, and their local control accountability programs.

Each school must submit an LCAP to identify their goals and needs, she said.

She will help districts analyze data and give guidance on how to provide intervention for struggling learners.

Cathy Parker, Tuolumne County associate superintendent of educational services, said Harford’s role will also include working with districts on accountability as it pertains to the California Dashboard.

“I was aware that it was being posted, and after some serious consideration, I realized it would be a new opportunity and a challenge in an area that I’ve always been interested in,” Harford said.
Harford will replace Colleen Whitlock, who will move into the vacant position of director of Student Support Services.

Harford’s replacement will be found by the Summerville Union High School District Board of Trustees, but no timeline has been established.

Harford’s departure comes at the same time as the district is searching for a superintendent, following Robert Griffith’s retirement announcement on April 11.

“We have an excellent site admin staff in place right now. I will be working with them to support this transition and I will be just a phone call away if there are any questions. I have confidence it will go smoothly,” Harford said.

Harford said her best memories of Summerville High School included graduation ceremonies, and a trip to Washington, D.C, in 2011, with Jazz@8, where students performed at the White House and U.S. Capitol.

“I would say that I am proud of the accomplishments that we have together,” she said.

According to the California Department of Education, Summerville High School has 432 enrolled students and Connections Academy has 225 students.

Contact Giuseppe Ricapito at (209) 588-4526 or gricapito@uniondemocrat.com . Follow him on Twitter @gsepinsonora.