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Santa Monica-Malibu School Board Appoints New Director of Early Learning  
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By Lookout Staff

April 24, 2017 -- The Santa Monica-Malibu School Board last week appointed Webster Elementary School principal Susan Samarge-Powell, a 21-year veteran of local schools, as the district's new director of early learning.

Samarge-Powell, who headed elementary school in Malibu for the past four years, previously served as half-time director of the district's Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) program.
Susan Samage-Powell

She will assume the post July 1, replacing Dr. Alice Chung, who was director of Child Development Services, the previous title for the post.

"Dr. Samarge-Powell models the highest level of professional interactions with staff, students, parents and the community and is a strong educational leader," district officials said in a statement released after her appointment Thursday.

Samarge-Powell began her teaching career with SMMUSD as a bilingual multi-age primary classroom teacher at Will Rogers Learning Community in Santa Monica.

For several years at Rogers -- a campus of 675 students, 50 preschool students and 80 staff members -- she "collaborated with a team of bilingual teachers to develop specific and targeted instruction for all students," officials said.

Samarge-Powell then served as assistant principal at the school before being appointed principal at Webster, a 350-student transitional kindergarten through fifth grade school, where her job included managing all certificated and classified staff, officials said.

She subsequently served as teacher support coordinator and a part-time consultant for Teaching and Learning Solutions for the district.

Samarge-Powell, who holds a Doctorate of Education from UCLA, received the District Young Teacher of the Year award by the Santa Monica Jaycess in 1999 and a Honorary Service Award by the Rogers PTA in 2002.

She is involved in several community organizations, district officials said.

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