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Clockwise: Kim Maxwell, Randy Lempert, Jose Montano and Gabe Del Real


Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) announces Gabriel Del Real as Administrative Director I, Elementary Education; Randall Lempert as principal of Harbor View Elementary; Dr. José Montaño as principal of Whittier Elementary; and Kimberly Maxwell as principal of Woodland Elementary.

Gabriel Del Real
Administrative Director I, Elementary Education 

Gabriel Del Real

With 23 years of experience in education, Gabriel Del Real brings extensive experience through his varied roles as a teacher, school principal and district-level administrator to his new position as Administrative Director I, Elementary Education. 

Del Real has a deep level of knowledge regarding high-quality programs and instruction. As principal of both Harbor View and Adams Elementary, he developed systems of collaboration and commitments to improve instruction. In his previous role as Coordinator, K-12 Curriculum and Instruction, he supported schools through the development and facilitation of specialized programs in elementary and secondary education. 

He has built long-lasting relationships that foster continuous improvement while creating high expectations in supportive environments. He prioritizes listening and connecting with staff and the community to better collaborate as a team to increase students’ academic performance. As principal at Harbor View, he was instrumental in developing the school’s Innovation Lab, an environment that combines high-tech, low-tech and no-tech worlds, offering students the opportunity to participate in collaborative, project-based Science, Technology, English, Arts and Math (STEAM) initiatives, including LEGO robotics, 3D printing, and computer coding and engineering concepts.

In his new role, Del Real is responsible for supporting community engagement; overseeing elementary extracurricular athletic programs and school-connected organizations; facilitating textbook adoption and instructional material for grades TK through sixth; among other duties.

“Gabe’s vast experience and deep knowledge of our District coupled with his thoughtful, calm presence make him a perfect fit to support our elementary education program,” said Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education Dr. Kurt Suhr.

Del Real received his Bachelor of Science in Child and Adolescent Studies and his Master of Science in Reading Instruction from California State University, Fullerton, as well as his Education Administrative Services Credential from the University of Irvine. 

Randall Lempert 
Principal, Harbor View Elementary

Randy Lempert

Randy Lempert, who joined NMUSD in 2021 as principal of Whittier Elementary School, took the helm as principal at Harbor View Elementary. In his 12 years of administrative experience, Lempert has proven to be a strong leader who builds trusting relationships with students, parents and staff.

At Whittier Elementary, Lempert was known for being a visible leader with a positive outlook and fostering an inclusive community by collaborating with staff and the community to help students achieve success. He worked in partnership with teachers to strengthen the school’s Positive Behavior and Intervention Support (PBIS) program, Spanish-language dual immersion classes, and after-school enrichment program. 

Lempert’s experience includes nine years as a principal spanning both the elementary and middle school level, as well as 11 years teaching first through eighth grades, including at an international school in Taiwan. 

“Randy is intentional in his visibility as a leader. His deliberateness in collaborating with staff, students and parents is a true asset to any community,” said Assistant Superintendent of Achievement, Innovation and Continuous Improvement Socorro Shiels.

Lempert was named Region 19 Principal of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators in 2019. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Concordia College in Minnesota and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Concordia University in Irvine. 

Dr. José Montaño
Principal, Whittier Elementary School

Jose Montano Jr.

Jose Montaño is a highly experienced bilingual educator with 25 years in education, 11 years as an elementary principal and one year at the secondary level. For the past five years, he has served as principal at Jackson Elementary School in the Desert Sands Unified School District. He previously served as principal at an elementary school in San Francisco. 

With the dual immersion program at Whittier Elementary School, Montaño is a great fit as this is not his first experience with the concept. Montaño initiated and implemented a Dual Language Immersion program while principal both in Desert Sands and in San Francisco. He also served as a dual immersion teacher at the elementary and middle school levels.

Montaño is a strong supporter of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), as evidenced by the successful program he established at Jackson Elementary. He has deep instructional knowledge with experience in programs such as Guided Language Acquisition Design (GLAD) strategies, Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS), Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS).   

“Dr. Montaño’s calm presence, strong interpersonal skills and passion for improving opportunities for student learning will no doubt support growth at Whittier Elementary School,” said Shiels. 

Montaño received his bachelor of arts in sociology from the University of San Francisco, master of arts in educational technology and leadership from Pepperdine University and doctorate in educational leadership for social justice from Loyola Marymount University. 

Kimberly Maxwell 
Principal, Woodland Elementary School

Kim Maxwell

Kimberly Maxwell has spent 20 years in education, primarily in early childhood education. Prior to her role as coordinator of universal pre-kindergarten in the Capistrano Unified School District, she served as principal at Don Juan Avila Elementary School. As principal, she worked with her staff to implement Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS) intervention practices as well as a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program earning Gold Level recognition.

Maxwell is known for developing relationships and collaborating with teachers, parents, and community members to create optimal learning environments for students and a supportive educational community. As a former NMUSD Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA), she is extremely excited to return to Newport-Mesa and lead the Woodland Elementary community.

“She is known to be calm and thoughtful, and have strong interpersonal skills, allowing her to effectively collaborate with teachers, parents, and community members to create a cohesive and supportive educational community,” said Dr. Suhr.

Maxwell earned a bachelor of arts in sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a master of arts in elementary education from Loyola Marymount University.