New Principals and Special Education Leaders Announced




The ABC Unified School District Board of Education announced new principals at Elliott Elementary School and the ABC Adult School and the new leaders in Special Education for the District at the July 8, 2021, board meeting. Lora Ballard will be the new principal at Elliott Elementary, and Nancy Amara will be the new principal of the ABC Adult School. Dr. Roshelle Chavez takes over as SELPA Director, and Dr. Soco Verduzco is the new Director of Pupil Support Services, Special Education.


“These roles are essential to our students, and we have selected four amazing women to serve as principals and leaders in special education,” said Superintendent Dr. Mary Sieu. “They all are dedicated leaders with strong experience within our District. I know they will continue to serve our students with the utmost caring and professionalism.”


Lora Ballard has more than 20 years of experience in ABCUSD, beginning her career as a teacher at Niemes Elementary School. Most recently, she was the Coordinator of Child Development/Head Start Director for the District. Ms. Ballard holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature and a Masters of Arts degree in Elementary Education.


Nancy Amara is a product of the ABCUSD, having attended District schools from preschool through high school. She has worked at the ABC Adult School for 17 years, starting as a teacher. Most recently, she served as the Assistant Principal of the school’s Cabrillo Lane campus. Ms. Amara holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and a Master of Arts degree in Education.


Dr. Roshelle Chavez has 24 years of experience in Special Education and an educator and administrator. She moves into her new role, having spent the past four years as Director of Public Support Services, Special Education. Dr. Chavez holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Services, a Master of Arts in Special Education, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership.


Dr. Soco Verduzco is also a product of ABCUSD and began her career in the District 27 years ago. She has held many positions in the District, from secretary to teacher to program specialist. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Studies, two Masters degrees in Special Education and Education, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership which she earned this year.


“We are so proud to see these promotions to important roles,” said Board of Education President Sophia Tse. “These amazing educators bring experience and leadership to their new roles. I, for one, cannot wait to see what they do for our students.”


Ms. Ballard, Ms. Amara will assume their new positions at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year. Dr. Chavez and Dr. Verduzco took their positions immediately.