Almanac

Schools - July 24, 2013

Portola Valley school board names new superintendent

by Renee Batti

Lisa Gonzales, an administrator with the Santa Clara County Office of Education, is the Portola Valley School District board's top choice for superintendent. The board approved her hiring at its July 17 meeting.

Ms. Gonzales has most recently served as director of the STEAM program — science, technology, engineering, arts and math — at the county office of education, according to a statement released by the district. Her emphasis was on the visual and performing arts. In her position, she has helped support numerous school districts with implementation of the state's new common core standards.

Ms. Gonzales, who replaces Carol Piraino, begins work in the district on Aug. 2. She signed a two-year contract, ending in June 2015. Her salary for the first year will be $170,207; in the following school year, she will earn $183,000.

The new superintendent received a doctorate in education from the University of La Verne in Southern California, according to her LinkedIn page.

Before holding her current position, Ms. Gonzales worked as curriculum developer and teacher trainer at the NASA Ames Research Center, according to her LinkedIn page.

She began her career as a middle school math and science teacher in Daly City, and has served as a middle school assistant principal, high school learning director, and elementary school principal in the Bay Area, the district announcement said.

Ms. Gonzales is vice president of legislative action for the Association of California School Administrators. The American Association of School Administrators honored her with a national Women in School Leadership Award in 2012.

In her spare time, Ms. Gonzales is a marathon coach for the San Francisco Marathon Run365 training program, and serves on the board of Kristi Yamaguchi's Always Dream Foundation, according to the district. She and her husband have 8-year old twin girls who attend public schools.

In the district announcement, board President Jocelyn Swisher praised Ms. Gonzales as "a dynamic, collaborative leader with strong interpersonal skills (who) is proficient with the leading-edge educational practices and technologies."

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