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Brock Elliott & Lathrop swap their principals
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The popular, longtime principals of Lathrop Elementary School and Brock Elliott Elementary School are set to switch placed at the start of next school year.

This week it was revealed that David Silveira – who has been at the helm of Lathrop’s oldest elementary school for the past 14 years – and longtime Brock Elliott Principal Debbie Ruger will be swapping school sites over the summer as part of a district move to maximize the educational opportunities for students at each of the respective sites. 

According to Cheryl Meeker-Mau, Manteca Unified’s Senior Director of Elementary Education, the move is not uncommon and is being made with students’ needs in mind. 

“As part of the annual process of managing the District based on student need, Principals and Vice Principals are often reassigned,” wrote Meeker-Mau. “This year, two principals and two vice principals have the opportunity to make an impact on new school communities. 

“The leaders involved in these transitions have successful programming in their previous schools and we know they will be embraced in their new communities. Our Board vision remains clear to ensure every student works to achieve grade level standards, feels safe and is supported to realize individual success.”

Since taking over the helm at Lathrop Elementary School, Silveira has become a big part of the community and did not shy away from making difficult choices for what he felt was best for students. For example, Silveira was a trailblazer in dressing down the school’s annual 8th grade promotion ceremony by eliminating the caps and gowns that students wore and switching the time to a morning ceremony so that it could coincide with a family breakfast.

And Ruger has made a big impact at Brock Elliott Elementary School when it comes to student performance. Brock Elliot was the last Manteca Unified school to be awarded the Gold Medal Ribbon for the massive strides that students made on the state’s new assessment platform – and was only one of two in San Joaquin County at the time. No schools from San Joaquin County were given the award in 2017 – the last available year posted on the California Department of Education’s website. 

News of the switch began to circulate on social media Thursday night with a tremendous outpouring of support from both school communities. By Friday afternoon, Silveira had posted a letter to Lathrop Elementary School’s Facebook page announcing the move. 

“I am deeply grateful for all of the support that I have received for the past 14 years from staff, students, and parents. Thanks to all of you, I have learned as much from everyone around me as I have endeavored to help Lathrop students work to their full potential and success,” Silveira wrote. “I am proud of all that we have accomplished as a school community, which makes this goodbye bittersweet.

“While I look forward to this new adventure at Brock Elliott, Lathrop will always be dear to my heart. As anyone who has spent any amount of time here at Lathrop Elementary can attest, we truly are a family.”

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.