Dear Jefferson ES Families and Community Members,
It is a pleasure and honor to introduce myself as your new Principal. My name is Craig Berger, and I am coming to you from Lafayette Elementary School where I have served as the Assistant Principal for the last three school years. In meeting with your interview committee, it was clear that the Jefferson students, staff, and families possess a wealth of knowledge, passion, talents and have a true commitment toward the collective good. In the coming weeks and months I look forward to getting to know you better and will offer ways for you to get to know me. But first, here’s a little about my background: I come to Jefferson with more than 25 years of experience with SFUSD in roles that include Summer Program Principal, Interim Principal, Assistant Principal, Teacher Coach, Classroom Teacher, and Special Education Paraprofessional. My most critical role in life, however, has been that of father to my two talented, beautiful, and resilient daughters, Audrey (School of the Arts, 2017) and Ilysa (Lincoln HS, 2020). They have shaped my learning as an individual and educator, and continue to be a source of inspiration for me. In my spare time, I garden, cheer on the Giants, and enjoy bicycle riding and yoga. I love all kinds of music and am always looking for tips on good TV shows and movies.
As your new site leader, I will focus first on facilitating a smooth transition to a successful school year. This will be no easy task considering the trauma experienced by many of us during the past 16 months, the ongoing dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new instructional start time and weekly schedule, and other logistical challenges that are certain to come up. I want to commend the current staff for stepping up and meeting the enormous challenges that were faced without having a permanent administrator on site for so long. Please be patient and understanding as we work out the kinks that would normally happen during any transition of school leadership. I’d like to publicly thank Dr. Kim Gilmore, an old teaching colleague of mine, for her years of leadership to Jefferson as well as Rachana Sidhu for stepping in as the Interim Principal in the spring. She has already begun transferring her knowledge and information and will continue to be of support during this transition.
I look forward to sharing critical information with you in the coming days and weeks as we prepare for in-person instruction which begins on Monday, August 16th. You will receive all the logistical information you will need in as timely a fashion as possible. You can look out for my communications through emails and, in time, our school website.
In closing, I am very excited to join the Jefferson community and look forward to being your Principal for years to come. We have much to learn together and if we do so in partnership, Jefferson will be as great as we dream it to be.
Craig Berger, Principal