WATSONVILLE—When new Pajaro Valley High School Principal Consuelo Mason was in third grade, her third-grade teacher inspired a lifelong dream to become an educator.
“She showed me that anything was possible,” Mason said.
By coincidence, when she had earned her teaching credential and entered a classroom for the first time, that same teacher—Rita Ramirez—served as Mason’s mentor.
Mason is a product of Pajaro Valley Unified School District, having attended schools here from kindergarten through Watsonville High School.
She attended UC Santa Cruz, where she earned a bachelor of arts in social science, and San Jose State University, where she earned a social science teaching credential and a master of arts in educational leadership.
Mason began teaching English language arts in 1997 at Rolling Hills Middle School, and moved to Pajaro Valley High School as a social science teacher when the school opened its doors in 2004.
She became that school’s English language specialist, and then became assistant principal in 2015.
Now, she takes over for Matt Levy, who was the lead Grizzly for three years after replacing Allison Niizawa in 2018.
“I’m thrilled and fortunate to have this position,” Mason said.
Mason says she decided to become an administrator when her students told her they felt listened to in her classroom. She says she is excited to welcome students back to campus as the district recovers from a year of distance learning and social distancing.
“I want the school to feel like home when they come back, because it’s home for me,” she said.
Mason was one of four administrative hires PVUSD announced earlier this month.
Michael Mansfield was named the principal of Aptos Junior High. He was previously an assistant principal at Watsonville High School.
Lisa Sandoval took over as the Director of Child Development (CDD). She has worked with local students since 2003, first as a teacher and then as a childhood development coordinator.
Samantha Legorreta was selected as the new Academic Coordinator of Watsonville Charter School of the Arts. She has been serving students since 2013, as both a middle and elementary school teacher, and most recently as the Vice Principal at El Gabilan Elementary School in Salinas.