Perhaps the most important member of Miramonte Elementary's brand-new staff is the new principal, 66-year-old Dolores Palacio. Her immediate goal is to calm the nerves of parents -- some who are keeping their kids home -- after two teachers were arrested on sex abuse allegations.
Palacio was a teacher from 1974-1986 and a principal of two schools from 1988-2004, NBC reports. Although she retired in 2004, she has helped train principals since then and also reached out to help Martin Sandoval, Miramonte's principal when the teacher sex abuse allegations arose.
She said of the new staff of teachers at Miramonte, "These teachers were [previously] laid off because of the budget crisis in the past... not because of their experience. All of them were investigated and reviewed and their personnel folders were examined. They are all qualified and experienced," the Los Angeles Times reports.
In addition to new teachers, Palacio added that students will have bilingual social workers available throughout the year, ABC reports. She confirmed, "We are totally transparent. We are totally open. I welcome [parents] to the school anytime. This morning I invited them to stay in the classrooms as long as they felt comfortable."