Updated: Aug 16
By Anastasia Thrift
Farewell, Dr. Richards
Dr. Cassandra Richards served as Fremont Elementary School’s principal from fall 2017 to spring 2020. Recently, however, she announced her resignation. “It is with a heavy heart that I share with you that I have requested to have a new experience next year, due to medical reasons,” Richards wrote in a message to the Fremont community. “I have been diagnosed with T-cell large granular lymphocyte leukemia, which has made it difficult for me to fully focus on my position as principal here at Fremont. I will continue to be part of the LBUSD family and continue to support the children of our district, but in a different capacity.”
Richards’ first two years on the job were filled with the regular duties of a principal — jog-a-thons, carnivals, back-to-school nights. In the last year, however, she’s overseen such seismic shifts as fencing the campus perimeter and increasing security, the debate over keeping the playground open after hours and on weekends, and the unforeseen move to distance education in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. She continued leading the school steadily and warmly, and we have been fortunate to have her at the helm.
Welcome to our New Principal
Meet Fremont Elementary School’s new principal: Chris Lounsbery. He’s already begun introducing himself to the School’s community by sending out weekly messages on what to expect for the next year. “I hope to be a communicator and remain transparent during my time,” he says. This summer, he will send updates about construction and other topics, to “establish what it will look like in going back to school.” Messages will continue into the school year.
Lounsbery comes to Fremont from Avalon K-12 on Catalina, where he commuted daily from Long Beach for the last two years of his four-year tenure there. “I’m very excited to be at a leveled school — this will be a very new experience,” he says of the shift from working at Avalon K-12 and the previous K-12 school in Nevada, where he served as principal for several years. “And I’m very excited to be able to walk to work.”
He and his wife, Monica, the Dean of Health and Human Services at Cal State Long Beach, recently purchased a home on the border of Belmont Shore and Belmont Heights. Lounsbery and his wife live with their son, a Wilson High senior; the couple’s daughter recently graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
[ August 22nd at 1 PM - RSVP NOW ] Come and meet Fremont Elementary School's new principal, Chris Lounsbery! We're very excited to have Principal Loundsbery join our community and would like to give him a warm BHCA welcome. Fremont parents and community members are invited to the community forum to learn about the latest updates regarding the upcoming school year at Fremont, and well as progress on the school construction. CLICK HERE TO RSVP
Major renovations are underway on the Fremont campus. Air conditioning installations, ADA code upgrades, energy-efficient window replacements, restroom retrofits, and more have begun and will continue through the 2020-2021 school year.
The campus will split, with grades 3-5 heading to Kettering for interim housing; grades K-2 will stay on campus. K-2 classes will move to rooms usually occupied by third through fifth-graders. As construction is completed, on-campus classes will transfer to newly finished buildings and bungalows.
Principal Lounsbery attends a weekly walk-through and says workers have completed demolition on Building 2, and are finishing HVAC installation there and in the Cafeteria. He says plans are on schedule.
“Much gratitude to the workers, LBUSD facilities, and our Mr. George and Mr. Allen, who are being pulled aside to help,” Lounsbery says. “It’s been a great team effort to keep on top of things.”