Walker Elementary School teacher Elisa Tacconi will become John Muir School's principal next academic year, the School Board decided this week.

Walker Elementary School teacher Elisa Tacconi will become John Muir School's principal next academic year, the School Board decided this week.

Tacconi has served as an elementary school teacher in the district since 1997. During the academic year that ended this month, she taught kindergarten and first grade at Walker.

"This is a really wonderful opportunity to advance someone with the skills and credentials necessary for the position," said School Board member Carol Davis, whose son had Tacconi as a second-grade teacher at the now-closed Briscoe Elementary School.

The board voted 4-0 on Monday to hire Tacconi as John Muir's principal.

She will remain a full-time district employee, but will divide her time equally between three positions: as principal at John Muir, a math specialist at Walker and an academic coach at the district office, Superintendent Juli Di Chiro said.

"Ms. Tacconi is recommended as a strong educator with a varied and extensive background in education," read the superintendent's recommendation of Tacconi to the School Board. "She exhibits strong communication skills, flexibility, knowledge of best practices in elementary education and a commitment to student learning that will serve John Muir well."

The school's principal for the academic year that just ended, Doug Geygan, accepted a principal position at a Colorado elementary school for next academic year.

Geygan, who also serves as the district's data coach, has decided to move to Durango, Colo., so his two young children can be closer to their grandparents, he said.

His last day with Ashland School District likely will be June 30, he said.

Tacconi will assume the principal job Aug. 1, Di Chiro said.

She holds a license to serve as an administrator and a master's degree in education from Southern Oregon University.

Tacconi received a leave of absence from the district to teach in Turkey for two years and returned last academic year. Before coming to Ashland School District, she taught in California for 12 years.

Tacconi could not immediately be reached for comment.

John Muir is a magnet school for students in kindergarten through eighth grades that emphasizes science, art and music.

Contact staff writer Hannah Guzik at 482-3456 ext. 226 or hguzik@dailytidings.com.