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SSUSD selects Marina Amador new principal at James Monroe

Sierra Sands Unified School District (SSUSD) Bryan Auld, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources–

Marina Amador has been selected as the next James Monroe Middle School.

(“Monroe”) Principal. Marina was selected as a result of a competitive hiring process that included multiple interviews. The SSUSD Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve her selection at a Special Board Meeting held on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Marina will officially begin her tenure as Monroe’s principal on July 1, 2024. Marina will replace Amy Self, the current Monroe principal, who is leaving Monroe to serve as the Director of Human Resources.

Marina Amador

Marina has more than two decades of educational experience. She spent the first 19 years of her career serving as a secondary (grades 6-12) English teacher. Marina has spent the last two years working serving in the Rim of the World Unified School District as an Alternative Education Coordinator. In this role, Marina also serves as the principal of a continuation school (Mountain High School) and the principal of a TK-12 school (Rim Virtual Academy) simultaneously. She rebuilt the TK-12 virtual school into a functional program. Prior to that she assisted in opening a virtual school from initial conception to fully operational in the Corona Norco Unified School District. As an administrator, Marina values partnering with staff, students, families, and the community to support student learning.

When asked to comment on her selection as Monroe principal, Marina said the following: “Through the Sierra Sands interview process, I was introduced to a culture where teachers are a vital part of the decision-making, which resonates with my personal values as an educator. I look forward to being a part of and supporting the continued growth of that culture. I believe when teachers are empowered, students are empowered, and thereby create an empowered community working together. I am committed to collaborating with students, staff, families, and the community during this dynamic time in the history of Monroe and Sierra Sands. It takes a team.”

Bryan Auld, SSUSD Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, made the following statement regarding Marina’s selection: “In selecting the new principal of James Monroe, it was critically important that Monroe faculty and staff were heavily represented on the interview committee. I was excited to have a number of veteran Monroe teachers and other staff participate in selecting the next principal of Monroe Middle School. Marina’s experiences and skill set align well with the unique needs of the district as we navigate the upcoming reorganization of district schools, including the closing of Monroe at the conclusion of the 2024-25 school year and the opening of the new STEM Magnet School, which Marina will serve as the founding principal. We look forward to welcoming her to the SSUSD team, and we are confident that she will provide the leadership and support the Monroe school community will need in the coming year.”

Marina plans to sell her home in Crestline and relocate to the Indian Wells Valley. She is excited to move to Ridgecrest because her personal hobbies and recreational interests (rock climbing, yoga, and split boarding) will now be “closer to home.”