Dear Smidt Tech Students and Families,
I hope you all are enjoying your summer break! I am Dean Marolla-Turner, and I am honored and humbled that I was selected to serve as Principal of Smidt Tech High School. I began July 8, 2015. It is a pleasure to be given this opportunity to work with you in the service of the wonderful students of the Lincoln Heights community. I look forward to meeting you all over the coming weeks!
Just a little of my background for you: I’ve been in public education for 27 years. I began my career teaching Math in New York City. I moved to California 25 years ago and began teaching Math in Long Beach Unified. I taught there for seven years before I was promoted to Assistant Principal; I served eight years in that position. Over my fifteen-year career in Long Beach, I had the privilege of working at four different school sites serving similar populations to those currently served by Alliance schools. Eight years ago I was hired by Alliance as the founding Principal of ACRAHS#5, now Neuwirth Leadership Academy. In March 2014 I was elected to the Zapata-King Neighborhood Council, in Los Angeles’ 9th District. I’ve also taught and trained teachers at the University of Phoenix for ten years.
Education is our student’s key to personal and professional success. I was first attracted to the Alliance for its commitment and belief that all students can learn at high levels if given the opportunity and support they need. Our college-ready mission continues to inspire and drive me today. I have seen, year in and year, out how we transform the lives of our students, their families, and their communities. I am very excited to be able to help prepare Smidt Tech’s first graduating class with college acceptance and transitioning into adulthood. In addition, we will have a very busy year ahead of us, facing both LAUSD Charter Renewal and WASC accreditation. I look forward to guiding the Smidt community through both processes leading to successful renewal and accreditation.
Please also allow me to introduce two administrative staff member whom will also be joining the Smidt Tech team:
Mr. Dustin Tatroe will join us as an Assistant Principal. Mr. Tatroe has been an educator for nine years, he holds both English and Administrative credentials. Prior to becoming an Assistant Principal, Mr. Tatroe taught high school English in Rock Falls, IL, before moving to Los Angeles and teaching at Marymount High School and ACRAHS#5. Mr Tatroe was promoted at Alliance Neuwirth Leadership Academy to Director of Teacher Effectiveness and Student Learning in 2013, and Assistant Principal in 2014.
Ms. Lauren Fletcher will also join us as a College Counselor. Ms. Fletcher has also been an educator for nine years. Prior to obtaining her counseling credential, Ms. Fletcher taught for two years. She’s been a credentialed counselor for the past seven years. For the past two school years, Ms. Fletcher was a College Counselor at Neuwirth Leadership Academy.
We are extremely excited to be joining the Smidt family and look forward to our first graduating class in 2016. Please feel free to stop in and see me whenever you have a chance! You will find that my door will always be open!