Tomales principal to leave at year's end

03/20/2019

The principal of Tomales and Bodega Bay Elementary Schools, Amanda Mattea, who is finishing her second year in the position, has new plans for the fall. Ms. Mattea, a Point Reyes Station resident who is expecting her first child in April, is moving into a co-leadership position with her husband, Trevor Mattea, at Cascade Canyon School—a 70-student independent school founded in 1981 and based in Fairfax.

Ms. Mattea’s title will be head of school, and Mr. Mattea is stepping up from his current role as a second- and third-grade teacher at Cascade Canyon to be the director of family engagement.

“The opportunity to co-lead together is very timely: we’re starting our own family, and it’s something we’ve always wanted to do,” Ms. Mattea said. “We’re very like-minded about education. For us, the priorities are meaningful relationships, approaching education individually for every child, supporting them to create beautiful and high-quality work that they are proud of.”

Ms. Mattea’s two-year tenure followed two-and-a-half years of two interim, part-time principals at Bodega Bay and Tomales, after trustees placed longtime principal Jane Realon on administrative leave in 2015. Bob Raines, Shoreline’s superintendent, anticipates a strong field of applicants for the position, which will be posted through the month. (He also hopes to hire a permanent principal for West Marin School, for which it will conduct interviews in the coming weeks.)

Mr. Raines described Ms. Mattea as a leader and an innovator who helped make improvements in literacy and equity in particular.

In Shoreline Unified as a whole in 2015, the gap between the percentage of white and Latino students who scored at or above standard on the California Assessment of Student Progress and Performance was 43 percent in English language arts and 33 percent in math. In 2018, those gaps closed by around 10 percent in English and 4 percent in math. 

Ms. Mattea served on the district’s team of teachers and leadership staff dedicated to promoting equity, work that has been funded for the past eight years by the Marin Community Foundation. She also served in an advisory capacity for the literacy team.

Through teaching and leadership posts in Washington, D.C., San Diego and the Dominican Republic, Ms. Mattea—who holds degrees in psychology, elementary education and school counseling, says she fine-tuned her focus and values around education. 

Project-based and social-emotional learning have always been founding tenets of Cascade Canyon, she said, making it a good place for her and her husband to realize their vision for education. Despite the impending changes, they plan to stay in Point Reyes Station. “I’m going to really miss all of the students and the community at Shoreline, but I’m happy that I’m going to stay local and maintain those relationships,” she said.