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Changing places: New faces in principal offices
brock elliot
Dave Silveira, who is the new principal at Brock Elliott Elementary School, along with Vice Principal Heather Thomson displays the new office sign: “Home of the Champions.”

The first day of school Thursday at Manteca Unified meant new faces in new places.

Troy Fast, for starters, already had a head start at Weston Ranch High, taking over as principal at the southwest Stockton community last February. He was previously the vice principal at Manteca High.

Debbie Ruger and David Silveira are longtime principals in the district.

Up until last year, Ruger spent 18 of her 32 years in education as the top administrator at Brock Elliott Elementary School.

Silveira was at Lathrop Elementary School for the past 14 years.

In May, they were reassigned by the district office.

Ruger and Silveira, as a result, are now the principals at Lathrop Elementary and Brock Elliott, respectively.

“I was in the front of the school meeting with students and parents this morning. I told them that I was the new custodian,” Silveira jokingly said.

Many were aware that he’s the new principal of school of about 800 students and some 36 teachers.

Silveira added some personal touches to the front office such as postings the new letterings: “Home of the Champions” and even invited those in the Brock Elliott community to meet-and-greet at Starbucks near Big League Dreams.

He and Vice Principal Heather Thomson had once worked together at Great Valley Elementary School.

At Lathrop Elementary, Ruger and her vice principal, Gena King, made the rounds in the morning, visiting each of the classrooms.

Among the stops was that of Jeannette Boutte’s third-grade class.

Ruger, who previously worked with Boutte at Brock Elliott, introduced herself to the students and even shared some of her educational experiences from over the years.

Mostly, she looked to get acquainted with the many new faces on campus.

“I want to get to know each and every one of you by name,” said Ruger, who opened the new school year with about 910 students and 38 teachers.

MUSD reported an estimated 25,000 students returning to the classroom on this day.