Village Elementary School in Coronado. Staff photo by Willem Quigley.

Peter Kuhns selected as next principal of Village Elementary School

Coronado Unified School District has named Peter Kuhns as the next principal of Village Elementary School.

“We are excited to welcome Peter to our team. His professional expertise and experience and his ties to the community will be a great addition to CUSD,” said Superintendent Karl Mueller.

“We had a very extensive selection process which began with the creation of a leadership profile developed with input from current staff and parents. And then we had a panel of twenty elementary certificated and classified staff, administrators, and a parent involved in the interview process,” added Mueller.

“I’m humbled and excited to be here and to serve the students, staff, and community of Coronado,” said Kuhns. “Coronado is a special place and I am honored to have this opportunity. Village Elementary is a beautiful school and I can’t wait to meet everyone and get started in July.”

Peter Kuhns has been named the Village Elementary School Principal beginning in the 2023-24 school year. Photo courtesy of CUSD.

Kuhns is currently an associate principal at Ellen Browning Scripps Elementary School in San Diego Unified School District.

Broad teaching experience

He previously worked at Teach For America as an academic dean, teaching middle school science and social studies, and coaching football and basketball. He also taught elementary STEM in South Bay Union School District, and was a founding teacher at SOUL Charter School in Solana Beach.

“As a kid, I always dreamed of being an educator.”

– Peter Kuhns

“As a kid, I always dreamed of being an educator,” said Kuhns, who grew up in the Chicago suburbs and attended Lafayette College in Pennsylvania. “Right after college I got the Teach for America job in New Orleans. I taught at a low-income inner-city school and it was both challenging and inspiring. It was a great experience and I learned a lot.”

Back to San Diego

After four years in Louisiana his wife convinced him to move back to her hometown of San Diego.

“There really wasn’t very much convincing,” he laughed. “My wife Christy (Mebust) grew up in Coronado and graduated from CHS in 2008,” he shared.

“Family is so important, and I am very fortunate to have great in-laws. They are a close extended family, and I see that a lot in Coronado, it’s a tight-knit community where everyone helps each other and many families living in town are multi-generational.”

Peter and Christy, who works as a civil engineer, lived in Coronado when they first moved back from Louisiana.

“We loved it here. We lived in Christy’s grandparents back house and were active in Rotaract and around the island,” he shared.

Weekends in Coronado

Today they live in the Talmadge neighborhood of San Diego with their two children (Sam, 2 years, and Maddie, 7 months), but spend most weekends in Coronado.

“We go to church here, the kids spend time with their grandparents, and if I can sneak it in before the kids wake up, I love to go play ‘dawn patrol’ on the back 9 (holes) on the Coronado golf course,” he said.

Besides spending time with family, he enjoys reading and anything active and outdoors.

“It’s always a challenge to find time and balance between work, family, and staying physically active. But I did manage to run a marathon last year!” he laughed.

Kuhns has a B.A. in History from Lafayette College, an M.S. in Education from Johns Hopkins University, and an M.Ed in School Organization and Leadership from Columbia University.

Additionally, he has a Chief Business Official Certification (CASBO and University of Southern California), a Highly Qualified Administrator credential, a California CLAD certificate, and he is a licensed trainer in Restorative Practices.

He will begin his tenure at Village Elementary School on July 1, 2023.

He will replace current principal Heidi Bergener who will continue to serve CUSD in the position of K-12 Pathway Director for the Southwestern Community College Consortium.

Coronado Middle School selects new assistant principal

Coronado Middle School will welcome a new assistant principal beginning in the 2023-24 school year.

Nestor Daniel Espinoza-Agraz will join Principal Brooke Falar on the CMS administrative team beginning on July 1, 2023.

“I’m excited for Nestor to join our Triton team and can’t wait for our staff and students to experience his great energy and his dedication and commitment to making sure that every one of our students succeeds,” shared CMS Principal Falar.

“I am excited to collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure our children receive the best possible education.”

– Nestor Daniel Espinoza-Agraz

“I am thrilled and honored to accept this position in the vibrant community of Coronado. This remarkable community is known for its strong partnerships between teachers, families, community organizations, and local businesses, all working together to enhance the educational experience. I am excited to collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure our children receive the best possible education,” shared Espinoza-Agraz.

“My passion lies in contributing to a nurturing and inclusive environment that empowers our students to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally, ultimately preparing them to become compassionate and successful citizens,” he said.

Nestor Espinoza-Agraz was recently approved for the position of assistant principal of Coronado Middle School for the 2023-24 school year. Photo courtesy of CUSD.

Former principal in Chula Vista

He is a former principal at Los Altos Elementary in Chula Vista Elementary School District, and has served in administrative and instructional positions at Discovery Charter, the Excellence and Justice in Education Academy, and Garfield Elementary in Oakland USD.

Espinoza-Agraz holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from UC Berkeley, and a Master of Arts degree in Education Administration and Educational Policy from Loyola Marymount.

His teaching credential is from SDSU, where he was selected to be a featured educator for a film/book series based on instructional leadership practices in the classroom. He is also bilingual in Spanish and was an ESL teacher at Saint Ann Community School in Oakland.

As a bilingual educator Espinoza-Agraz recognizes the importance of language and he enthusiastically supports the expanded world language pathways initiative in CUSD.

“I did a study abroad program in Beijing, China and it was the most transformative experience of my life. I went there knowing only how to say ‘hello’ and left with lifelong friendships, an understanding of culture, and most importantly, of myself. Exposure to language opens access to other parts of the world and brings people together,” he shared.

San Diego native

He is a native San Diegan and a graduate of San Diego High School. He enjoys travel, walking, and pickle ball when possible, but he and his wife mostly stay busy keeping up with their active one-year-old son.

He looks forward to rolling up his sleeves this summer to begin planning for the coming school year, “I am truly grateful for this opportunity and eagerly anticipate starting my service to the outstanding CMS staff, community, and students.”

Espinoza-Agraz will replace Alison Keehan who will continue to serve the students of Coronado Unified School District as a Program Specialist, coordinating special education services.

Submitted by CUSD Public Information Officer Maria Simon.

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