Gonzales ready for a new year

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By Bernadette Lauritzen

The bright and smiling face of Principal Jill Gonzales is ready to greet Piñon Panthers as they enter the hallways for her third year.
“I remain humbled and honored to serve the wonderful students, staff and parents who comprise our Panther family,” Gonzales said. “Truly, it is a blessing to work in such a highly-engaged, dynamic and supportive community.”
Gonzales is excited and encouraged by the many opportunities the new school year brings, such as fresh starts, new experiences, higher learning and increased growth for students and staff alike.
The Panther theme for the new year is “Taking Flight” and Gonzales hopes the staff will provide a “lift” for each student in the areas of math, reading, writing, science, social studies, the arts and physical fitness.
The Panther Pride is 56 strong with goals for the new year.
“My staff and I are excited by the new opportunities that are ahead in the new school year — implementing the newly adopted Common Core State Standards in math and English language arts and continuing to grow our hands-on/inquiry-based Laseri3 science program,” Gonzales said.
The school will continue working toward the AdvancEd District Accreditation; furthering their approach to positive behavior support (safe, responsible, respectful) and offering fun and challenging co-curricular activities.
Gonzales and her family engaged in fun during the summer, with activities ranging from reading and horseback riding, to watching her son and daughter participate in sports. There was even a family trip to northern California for a family reunion, with lots of cousins, aunts and uncles.
The Gonzales work ethic comes from tending a variety of animals. In addition to dogs, you will find chickens and goats at the family home.
Gonzales graduated from the University of California-Los Angeles in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and worked for two years in Washington, D.C. for a non-profit United Shareholders Association, as director of Special Projects.
She earned teaching credential (social studies) at California State University, Dominguez Hills and worked at Redondo Union High School, a school of 1,600 students, teaching U.S. History, AVID and was the activities director and educational advisor/counselor.
Gonzales earned her master’s degree in educational administration from CSUDH and served as assistant principal at Bonita Vista High School before joining the Piñon Panthers in 2010.