Natomas High School’s newly hired Executive Director/Principal for next year has extensive experience in secondary schools and calls himself a people person, approachable, and “eager and anxious to get started and hit the ground running.”
Yuri Penermon comes to Natomas Unified after a 13-year career as a secondary school principal and vice principal in Elk Grove, where he was honored as Certificated Administrator of the Year in 2014 and once spent 24 hours on a middle school roof to keep a promise after the student body significantly boosted its state Academic Performance Index score.
Asked to describe himself, Penermon said, “People say I’m very easygoing, I don’t seem to show stress, and they know that I’m about kids. If you’re coming to me with an issue about kids, I’m going to do what I can to help. Kids are our clients.”
Before becoming an administrator, Penermon taught English, drama and business at middle and high school in Elk Grove. He grew up in Santa Rosa, attended college at Sacramento State University, and has lived in Natomas in years past. He continues to have relatives in this community, he said.
Penermon said he’s excited about coming to Natomas Unified because the district is willing to do whatever necessary to help students succeed in college and career readiness. “It’s a growing district trying to be innovative, creative, and to think outside the box in education to support kids.”
“Meet and Greet” sessions will be announced in coming weeks to give staff and families an opportunity to get acquainted with Penermon.
The newest Nighthawk said he grew up in a tough neighborhood and made bad decisions as a teen that could have jeopardized his future. There were times he could not imagine himself attending college, so he can relate to NHS students who struggle. He has a message for them:
“Education saved my life and it can do the same for them,” Penermon said. “Let us know what we can do to help you, and I’m going to be there for you.”
Penermon’s career includes nearly a decade fighting drug and alcohol abuse through a state prevention and intervention program, and through the Sacramento County Office of Education’s Friday Night Live and Club Live programs. He also has worked with juvenile offenders as they were about to become fathers.
“I want to be part of it,” Penermon said of leading Natomas High School. “I want to be part of the action. I want to be part of what’s good for kids.”