Stella Mayfield Elementary’s next principal, Tom Sorensen, will not face a learning curve when it comes to getting to know the school’s campus, students and staff.

Sorensen is as familiar with all three as most Union County residents are with the rugged outline of Mt. Emily. Sorensen, who will become Stella Mayfield’s principal on July 1, is completing his fourth year as an educator at the Elgin school.

He has been selected by the school board to succeed Dianne Greif, who will become principal at Elgin High School and remain as the school district’s superintendent.

“It is quite an opportunity,” Sorensen said. “I have big shoes to fill.”

Sorensen joined the Elgin School District in 2014 after teaching eight years in the Ukiah School District. Sorensen was a part-time second grade teacher his first year at Elgin, taught middle school social studies his second year and has taught elementary school physical education the past two years.

Sorensen, at Greif’s request, filled in as Stella Mayfield administrator several times over the past several years when she was gone.

“(Greif’s) confidence in me encouraged me to make the move (to pursue a career in school administration),” Sorensen said.

Sorensen said he has learned a lot from Greif that he wants to apply as principal.

“I want to emulate her approach,” he said. “She is a cheerleader for our teachers and has demonstrated that she cares about our students and staff. She has a positive leadership style.”

Greif, who is completing her eighth year as Stella Mayfield principal, will succeed Rob Shell at EHS. Shell will leave in late June to become principal of Weston-McEwen High School.

Greif said Sorensen’s familiarity with the school district’s students and parents will make his transition to the role of principal a smooth one.

See complete story in Monday's Observer