Barbara Ulbrich, a third grade teacher and vice principal at Dunsmuir Elementary School, has been appointed to replace Kale Riccomini as principal next year.

Barbara Ulbrich, a third grade teacher and vice principal at Dunsmuir Elementary School, has been appointed to replace Kale Riccomini as principal.

Superintendent Cindy Rinne announced the District’s decision during Thursday night’s board of trustees meeting.

In her 40th year as a teacher, Ulbrich has been at DES for 33 years; she has served as vice principal for the last 11 years.

Riccomini is leaving DES at the end of this school year to take the principal’s position for the Mount Shasta Elementary School District.

Seated behind a table in her classroom Friday morning, Ulbrich said, “I've never been just a teacher here, In the past six years, I've been teacher, VP, and chair for the site council.” She described the site council as an oversight committee comprised of parents and staff. “Whenever you get federal education funds, you need a site council,” she explained.

Ulbrich wrote in a letter she hands out, “From the time I was a little girl, probably 3rd grade, I wanted to be a teacher. I love teaching. Every year and every child is a challenge. I want my students to be and to do the very best they can. I expect no less.”

She said she found Siskiyou County after quitting her job in Detroit and traveling with her husband. They visited the area to see family and were immediately smitten. “We loved the openness, having come from the city,” she said, in addition to wanting to be closer to their family.

“In my career, I’ve taught most every class, grades K to 8,” she said. “I've also been a reading specialist,” which she described as work with kids who could not read or who had difficulty reading. She has also worked as intervention coordinator, who would approach students not proficient or not achieving enough to pass to the next grade.

Ulbrich said her history with Dunsmuir Elementary is so long, she sees former students returning to school as parents supporting their own children's educations.

“After 11 years as VP, I’m certainly aware of all the problems we're facing now, with the budget cuts and the staff cuts,” she said. “I've seen the ups and downs, and I'm ready to help any way I can.”

She pointed out that most of the staff has also been at DES a long time, and  she expressed optimism for their abilities to handle anything that the school may face in the coming year. “Whatever needs to be done, this staff will do it,” she declared.