(Left) Sheryl Barnd, the new Principal/Superintendent at Mupu School (right) Jeanine Gore, retiring after 32 years as Principal/Superintendent at Mupu School.

Mupu School superintendent retires after 32 years on the job

June 25, 2014
Santa Paula News

Jeanine Gore, who has worked as a teacher and in recent years, the superintendent of Mupu School, has retied after 32 years at the school.

It all began in 1982 when she had just completed her studies at UC Santa Barbara. She said she wanted to get some interviews under her belt and thought she wanted to end up in San Francisco. “I saw this ad for Mupu School which seemed like a strange name for a school,” she said. “I thought, well I’ll do an interview and I’ll tell them exactly what I know, what I don’t know and then I’ll learn from that interview how to really interview. What happened was, I had to beg to be interviewed. They thought since I lived in Santa Barbara I was too far away. I said no, no I’m going to move wherever my job is.” She was squeezed in as the very last person interviewed about 8 o’clock in the evening. “Suddenly I wanted this job more than anything I could imagine,” she added. “And I drove back to Santa Barbara that night and there was a phone call waiting for me that I got the job.” Gore thought she’d be there for three or four years, but she said, “I just fell in love with it and so I’ve been here 32 years.” She became the Principal/Superintendent in 1992. She continued to teach along with her administrative duties until 1998. 

Asked what it was that attracted her to Mupu, she noted, “There’s a magic here and somehow people who need to find this place find it. Whether you’re an adult or a child there’s something about this place that just wraps its arms around you...it just became my family.”

This past school year the principal and superintendent jobs were split. “About three or four years ago I started telling my board I’m in a position where I can take an early retirement,” she said. She didn’t want to leave until she had the right person to take over. She added, “It took me a long time to convince Sheryl Barnd. About two years ago I had a real serious conversation with her. I think you’re ready to lead the school.” She was reluctant to leave the classroom but Gore told her, “Think of it this way, the whole school becomes your classroom.” Barnd thought it over and got her administrative credential and worked as principal this past year, side-by-side with Gore. “She is so ready to take this school above and beyond,” Gore said.

Gore plans on doing some traveling with her husband, although she doesn’t have specific travel plans yet. “I feel like I need to experience what it’s like to wake up and not have the livelihood of 13 other people to be concerned about or the educational program.”

Barnd, the new Principal/Superintendent, said Gore is a great administrator and she told Gore, “When you leave I don’t want to work for anyone else so I guess this is my way of handling it.” She’s been teaching at Mupu for 22 years. She said the board readily accepted her to replace Gore. “We have an awesome board...100 percent to see Mrs. Gore leave, but 100 percent happy to see what’s in our future.” She said Gore has done a wonderful job and has always had a great working relationship with them.

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