A veteran educator who has helped launch innovative programs will be the next principal of Richland Virtual School while another educator with 13 years of experience in Richland schools will take the helm at Leona Libby Middle School.
Andre Hargunani, who led the launch of the science- and technology-centered Libby, will be the first principal of the new Richland Virtual School (RVS). He will be succeeded at the middle school by Maren Benedict, currently an assistant principal at Hanford High School.
The internal moves are aimed at providing needed administrative support for RVS students, families and staff. RVS currently serves roughly 500 students in grades K-12 across the district and has about 30 staff members. Dr. Buchholz launched and has provided administrative support to the alternative learning experience (ALE) program while also leading online learning programming and platforms for all district students.
Hargunani will also work in tandem with Dr. Jesse Buchholz, Richland School District’s Director of Online Learning, in shaping the program in the future to the needs of its students and families.
“Andre has a demonstrated history in launching new and innovative educational programs and we’re excited he is taking this on,” says Deputy Superintendent Mike Hansen.
Benedict’s administrative leadership at Hanford, paired with her background as a middle school science teacher and teaching science education at the post-secondary level make her well-poised to continue the unique programs at Libby, says Todd Baddley, Assistant Superintendent for Secondary.