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Leadership

 
Charles Miller
Principal

For over 10 years, Charles Miller’s professional life has focused on educating students. He was the director of after-school programs for the Cesar Chavez Foundation, a founding middle school teacher at Voices College-Bound Language Academy, and then the school's principal. At Voices, Mr. Miller created the math and science curriculum for the middle school and  helped form the Voices Parent Advisory Committee, a parent leadership group. His seventh and eighth grade math classes earned recognition as some of the highest performing classes for low-income Latino students in California. Mr. Miller became the principal of Camino Nuevo's Burlington Campus in 2018. Since his first visit to the school, he has been inspired by the rigorous culture of activism and social justice among teachers, parents, and students. Under his leadership, Burlington was ranked a top school in Los Angeles County in 2020 for raising student achievement and narrowing the opportunity gap for Latino students. Mr. Miller studied History and Spanish at Boston College and enjoys running, hiking, dancing salsa, and spending time with his wife and daughter, Jeimee and Maia.

Juliana Santos
Assistant Principal of Instruction

As assistant principal, Juliana Santos is responsible for the successful implementation and management of the bilingual program at the Burlington Campus. She is also responsible for coaching, supporting, and evaluating teachers. Ms. Santos joined Camino Nuevo in 2005 and taught third and fourth grades for nine years. Ms. Santos' strong background and knowledge of bilingual education, conceptual math, the workshop model, and restorative practices allows her to lead teachers and bring evidence-based practices that increase engagement, improve student achievement and build teacher capacity. Her professional and personal mission is to empower low-income, immigrant children to pursue their dreams and ensure that college is a real possibility in their lives. Ms. Santos completed her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at University of California, Santa Barbara and her master's degree in Elementary and Bilingual Education at Loyola Marymount University.

 
Paloma Kumagai
Assistant Principal of Instruction

Paloma Kumagai is originally from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. She grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and attended Arizona State University. Immediately after graduating college, she decided to move to Honolulu, Hawaii. During her time in paradise, Paloma worked as a Spanish teacher, special educator and served as the director of equity and student success. During her time in Hawaii, she created systemic structures allowing for efficient and student-centered practices for students who qualified for special education services. She also lead a variety of initiatives including the creation of an Inclusion Action Research group, which later allowed students with disabilities in the general education setting at a school that had only provided pull-out services for students who qualified for special education for the last 30 years. As a member of the Waialae School Board, she successfully championed policies and reforms to foster a welcoming environment for all students regardless of race, immigration status, ethnicity, and/or gender.

Kimberly Plaza
Assistant Principal of Student Supports

Kimberly Plaza was a teacher when she joined the Burlington Campus. She taught middle school math and science her first two years. She was a full-time intervention teacher her third year before becoming the school's dean of culture. In 2019, she  became the school's assistant principal of student supports. In this role, Ms. Plaza is responsible for leading and implementing school-wide initiatives that build and maintain a strong, positive, and achievement-based culture for all students in grades K-8. She is responsible for creating behavior systems and supporting teachers and staff in addressing student behavior in order to ensure that all students feel safe and receive the maximum instruction. Ms. Plaza is a 2010 Teach for America corps member. She was a founding teacher at Rocketship Los Suenos Academy in San Jose, Calif., where she taught kindergarten literacy for two years and second grade math for another two years. Ms. Plaza earned her Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology at Pomona College in Claremont. She is working toward an administrative credential and a master’s degree in Educational Psychology.

Alonzo Gandara
Family Coordinator

As the student and family services coordinator, Alonzo Gandara is responsible for being the liaison between the school and students' families. He facilitates educational parent workshops and provides case management and coordination of referrals to family support programs. In addition, he leads parent engagement activities to support the academic success of students. Prior to joining Camino Nuevo, Mr. Gandara was a case manager for Shields For Families, an organization that provides services to the cities of Compton and Watts in Los Angeles. He earned a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology at California State University, Long Beach. He enjoys cycling, playing soccer, and eating delicious food.

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Janya Diaz 
School Operations Manager

 

Janya Diaz started her journey at Camino Nuevo Burlington in 2015. She was a first-grade teacher’s assistant for two years. Because of her management experience, she was tapped to be the school's office manager. In 2019, Ms. Diaz was promoted and accepted a new role as the school operations manager. In this role, Ms. Diaz is responsible for maintaining a safe environment for everyone that visits the Burlington Campus. She manages the office staff and ensures the school is set up to always offer a positive learning experience for all students. Ms. Diaz was born in Nicaragua and emigrated to the United States in 1986. She attended Magnolia Elementary School, Berendo Middle School, and San Pedro High School. In 2003, she earned her office administration degree and certification from Los Angeles Trade Tech College. In 2013, Ms. Diaz completed her Bachelors of Arts in Business Leadership and is now pursuing a master’s degree in Business Administration.