McSweeny Elementary Announces New Principal

Ekko DePriest, former Assistant Principal at Harmony Elementary School, has been promoted to Principal of McSweeny Elementary School. 

Ms. DePriest is beginning her 14th year in education and 3rd year at Hemet Unified School District. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies at San Diego State University and her Masters in Educational Administration from California State University, San Bernardino. She also received a Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) certification from University of California, Riverside. In addition to being a Principal at McSweeny, she also teaches a credential master’s program at the University of Redlands. 

Ms. DePriest is focusing on building relationships with staff and students. She believes these connections will help students succeed. She will provide an engaging and supportive culture so all students and staff members will be excited to come to McSweeny each morning. 

This school year, the staff’s main focus is implementing Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID). All third, fourth, and fifth grade students will be implementing AVID’s organizational and note-taking strategies throughout all content areas. Principal DePriest is excited to introduce this program to students, because she feels it will become an instrumental tool in student growth and achievement. 

McSweeny staff will continue the One Million Word Challenge this school year. This encourages students school-wide to read more. Each grade will have a set number of words they will be challenged to read. Once students reach the 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% goals, they will be recognized and receive prizes. After reading a book, students will be tested on their comprehension to ensure they are understanding the material.

DePriest said she is excited to be named the new Principal of McSweeny Elementary School. Growing up her family moved a lot and she was enrolled into nine different schools during her K-12 education. She said this made it hard for her to maintain lasting friendships. However, her Government Teacher in high school had the ability to connect with his students which made a profound impact on her. During college she worked with students during her Liberal Studies program, and was reminded of the importance of connecting with students. Her goal is to encourage staff to create those connections so students feel they have an adult on campus to reach out to in challenging times.

“I want to provide a rigorous, engaging academic setting in a nurturing school culture where students actively look forward to coming to school,” said DePriest.  

Congratulations Ms. DePriest on becoming the newest leader of McSweeny Elementary School!