More than a dozen parents and students protested the shuffling of elementary school principals outside Hesperia Unified offices Monday evening.


"They decided to move the top principals to lower schools," said Rebecca Gaskell, who has a child at Cypress School of the Arts, one of five schools affected by the moves. "They're giving us the lower school's principals."


Cypress' principal Scott Sheffield will be moving to Joshua Circle Elementary School. Taking his place will be Mesa Grande Elementary School principal Pamela Seeger.


"Our principals at Carmel (Elementary School) and Cypress motivate our teachers," Gaskell said. "They know every child by name. ... It works."


The parents protesting Monday night were a mix of Cypress and Carmel parents.


A Cypress parent was involved in the decision to move Sheffield and the other principals: Three of school board members Chris Bentley's and one of Eric Swanson's children attend the school. According to Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Jovy Yankaskas, the principals are being moved to bring a fresh set of eyes to each campus.


Cypress parents upset by the change have set up a blog about losing the school's principal at SaveOurSheffield.org.


"He is the reason I am in Hesperia School District and have been for six years," Ruth Prince Gabriel wrote on the blog. "I had to wait five years, but the opportunity came up and it was worth the wait. I absolutely love being at this school and that is why my two grandchildren are enrolled here. The majority of the teachers are here because of Scott!"


"They haven't listened to anybody all year long," said Gaskell. "No, we're not happy. And we're going to let them know."


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 760-956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.