New School Year, New Admin


Photo by Violet Wang

Ella Davis, Megan Gauer, and Violet Wang

 The start of a new school year often creates change on campus, yet this year, the change is substantial: two out of four members of our administration are new to our campus, while the third member has changed positions. The 2019-2020 school year has brought two new Vice-Principals and a new Principal to Casa Grande. Both Christina Lee and Samantha Azofeifa have joined our administration team in Vice-Principal positions, while Dan Ostermann has taken over the job as principal. We interviewed them to learn more about their background before coming to Casa Grande and their plans for this year.

    Azofeifa began her career in education as a middle school and elementary school teacher, and later an instructional coach for teachers. She explains her childhood memories of arranging her toys to act out a classroom setting, showing her life long appreciation for education. When asked about her goals while interacting with students this year, Azofeifa refers to our school’s Personal Vision motto.

“[I want] every single person to feel success at whatever it is that they do and create relationships with people so they feel that they are important and that what they do matters. I see myself as a stepping stone so that students can create a goal for themselves and a personal vision that they can take on with them.””

— Christine Lee

    Lee is a new assistant principal at Casa Grande. She explained her role as an assistant principal. 

    “Assistant principals help with the daily management of this school, and I’m learning that every single day it’s something a little different. It’s not possible to script out what we’re going to do in a day as administrators, and our job requires a variety of tasks, but it all comes down to making sure that students are safe and able to learn the curriculum,” said Lee.

    Lee then went on to describe her background in education, explaining that becoming an assistant principal on campus “feels like coming home,” as she taught at Petaluma High School from 2011 until 2014. She stayed in the Bay Area from 2014 to 2018 as well, teaching at Novato High School.

    Education runs in Lee’s family; her great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother were all teachers. She has a theory that edification travels through relatives and states that her family inspired her to get involved in teaching: 

    “I grew up around women who are educators, and I really admired that. They shared their passion for learning new things, and I wanted to help inspire other students to do that as well,” said Lee. 

    When asked what she was most optimistic for this year, Lee stated that she wants to learn the school culture here and how she can best support everyone on campus. 

    “It makes me happy to be in a leadership role, where I can provide support for teachers so they can help students,” said Lee. 

    She is ready to be a part of the administrative staff as Casa Grande High School.

    The foundation of any school is the principal, and this year, our school has somebody new taking the position. Although Dan Ostermann has been at the school as assistant principal  for several years, the 2019-2020 school year is his first one as principal. 

    Ostermann has an incredibly diverse background. He was in many music programs. During his time living in Los Angeles, he became a professional musician for an eight to ten year time period. He then went on to become a teacher in Los Angeles.

    “I taught part-time, and then I started teaching full time. And I started many, many music programs and administrative music programs and partnered with private schools, parochial schools, charter schools, and traditional schools that were for the LA Unified School District, ” said Ostermann when asked about his background. 

    Ostermann is excited about the position, but he understands that it is a tremendous responsibility. “I’m in charge of the whole operation. So if things go great or if things go wrong, it’s my responsibility. And, I think just being the steward of the direction of the school is really exciting. But, it’s a very big challenge and different than being an assistant principal, where you have more discreet roles, and you’re in charge of certain programs,” said Ostermann.

    Ostermann, despite all the changes and new responsibilities, is already enjoying his new job as principal. 

    “It is just so rewarding to walk around and greet the students and greet the teachers and check in with them. I work with the administration very much to serve my role,” commented Ostermann.  Because Ostermann has already served as vice-principal, he is familiar with the position. 

    Our school is among three secondary schools in the Petaluma School District to start the school district with new administration: both Petaluma High School and Petaluma Junior High School have new principals this year. With a fresh set of people in our school’s highest positions, our campus has the tools for a new start for the 2019-2020 school year. Dan Ostermann, Christina Lee, and Samantha Azofeifa are all prepared to help make this a great school year. Casa Grande is ready for its new administration to continue to lead it to greatness.