Michael Gulden, principal for nine years at Cosumnes River Elementary, will leave next month to head up another elementary school in the Elk Grove Unified School District.
“It’s a new school over in the Sunrise area,” he said in a brief interview Monday. “It doesn’t have a name yet. They’re affectionately calling it Anatolia 2. It’s the second Elk Grove Unified school in Rancho Cordova.”
The 10-acre school site, with construction already under way, is across from Sandpiper Park, near Sunrise Boulevard in Anatolia. It’s scheduled to open in July 2017.
“It’s a bittersweet thing, you know?” the Murietan said of his CRES departure. “I’m looking at my career; I’m looking at how much time I have left before retirement. This is something I’ve thought about for a long time....
“There are some things I’d like to do in terms of implementing a vision at that school. That’s something you really have to start from the grassroots. You have to start from the bottom up.”
His last day at CRES will be Nov. 10, and he’ll start the new position on Nov. 14, working from temporary quarters, “the Harry Potter closet,” as he called it, at Sunrise Elementary.
“In the history of principals here, they tend to be relative short-timers – three years, four years. I’ve been here almost 10,” he said of his CRES tenure. “And there is only one other principal who was here for that period of time over the almost 70 years of school here.”
You’d be wrong if you thought the 2010 move from the old CRES to the new CRES tops Gulden’s list of memories.
“I can’t say that the first thing that comes to mind, right off the top, is the transition from that school to this school,” he said. “Even that, as visual as it was for the community, and as literally visceral as it was for the community, given all the angst that had gone into it over the years, the move was about kids.
“We transitioned from one building to the next. That building came down ... but one of my colleagues, a teacher here and a teacher at the old school, she’s no longer with us, but she used to say, it’s not about the trappings; it’s about the relationships. Those are the things that stand out to me.”