FAIRFIELD – Eight hundred and sixty-two children attend Nelda Mundy Elementary School and Principal Kristen Cherry knows the name of every one of them, parent Trudy Barrington says.
Barrington, whose daughter Emma attends Nelda Mundy, was at the school Friday for a May Fair event with origins that include recognizing the California Distinguished School honors Nelda Mundy received.
Children at the school wanted to do something more – say goodbye to the school principal who’s leaving after eight years to undertake the same post at Green Valley Middle School.
Third-graders made a poster with the “Top 10 reasons why we will miss Mrs. Cherry.” She treated them like superstars, the children said. She went to extremes to include everyone. She was kind to all.
Fourth-graders in their poster said they’d never forget her. Every class prepared a thank-you message.
Sixth-grade teacher Meghan Johann said at the fair that Cherry spread success.
“She’s a leader who makes other leaders,” Johann said.
Second-grade teacher Kristen Rosso spoke about the amazing things the principal did for everyone at Nelda Mundy.
“I’m very proud to have been part of her staff,” Rosso said.
Cherry when speaking to the hundreds gathered at the school thanked the teachers and staff.
“They’re amazing,” she said.
The principal said later she learned the names of the 862 children who attend the school because it was important to do so.
Twins Gabriella and Isabella Biscocho stumped Cherry sometimes. But otherwise the principal got the names right for the children at Nelda Mundy.
A 1994 graduate of Armijo High School, Cherry married her high school sweetheart, Joe, a defensive back on the football team at Armijo, where Kristen Cherry was a cheerleader. The couple’s daughters Logan, 11, and Kendall, 9, attend Nelda Mundy.
“I’m home-grown,” the principal said of her roots in the region.
Parents Regina and Ron Huey praised the principal at the school their 7-year-old son Ian attends. Cherry made the family feel safe and sure that Ian would be well-educated, Regina Huey said.
“You can’t ask for a better principal,” she said.
Cherry begins that post next school year at Green Valley Middle School, which she attended as a student.
A cherry tree, surrounded by student-created tiles with themes of success and soaring, was planted in May at Nelda Mundy.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.