Seattle Public Schools announced today that Mia Williams, assistant principal at Denny Middle School, will be interim principal at Aki Kurose this fall. She replaces Ana Ortega, who resigned.

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Aki Kurose Middle School has its second new principal in two years.

Seattle Public Schools announced Thursday that Mia Williams, assistant principal at Denny Middle School, will be interim principal at Aki Kurose this fall.

She replaces Ana Ortega, who resigned, said district spokesman David Tucker. He said he had no information about why she stepped down.

Williams has worked as an assistant principal at Salmon Bay School, as well as at Denny. The district said she won the Distinguished Assistant Principal of the Year award in 2002-03.

Ortega, formerly an elementary principal in California, was one of two principals whose appointments generated controversy last June because district leaders selected them over the preferred candidates of the two schools’ hiring committees.

The switch comes at an important time for Aki Kurose, one of the schools in the district’s Southeast Initiative. The initiative aims to improve student performance at three schools: Aki Kurose, and Rainier Beach and Cleveland high schools. It started last year, but will move into high gear this fall.

The district also announced Thursday that Anna-Maria de la Fuente will be the district’s new Math Program manager. She has worked for eight years as director of the district’s MESA (mathematics, engineering, science, achievement) program.

Linda Shaw: 206-464-2359 or lshaw@seattletimes.com