Diana Jimenez is the new Riverbank High School Principal and will be starting her first day of the new school year with the rest of the students at Riverbank High today, Aug. 7.
Jimenez brings several different skills to Riverbank High along with 23 years’ experience in public education.
Her career started in Turlock where she worked for the school district for 13 years as the District Language Assessor which works with English learners, doing testing and reporting.
This position fit her lifestyle at the time since her kids were young and the position had a lot of flexibility, Jimenez said.
During her time in Turlock she finished all the teaching credentials that she needed and taught one semester at Modesto High School as a college prep English teacher.
Jimenez graduated from Modesto High and continued her education as an English Major.
A position later came up for an English teacher at Delhi High School, which she accepted and taught for seven years.
“I have taught pretty much anything you can think of, like reading lab, AVID, college prep, for sophomores and seniors,” said Jimenez, “and eventually Advanced Placement (AP) seniors.”
After getting involved with AP literature and composition within the English department, Jimenez eventually became department chair.
Throughout her time with Delhi Unified, Jimenez dabbled in many other projects and outside professional organizations. For 10 years she was a Senior Class Advisor.
“I have been to more Disneyland trips than people can remember,” said Jimenez with a smile.
She is a member of the National Writing Project (NWP) which focuses knowledge, expertise, and leadership of the nation’s educators on efforts to improve writing and learning for all students.
“Every student is literate at a different pace,” said Jimenez. “I just got more involved with them (NWP) and became one of their presenters and one of their fellows.”
As a presenter for the project, Jimenez has traveled all over the United States including trips to Florida and New York. In 2010, she did a presentation in Little Rock, Arkansas and stated that rural needs are a little bit different than urban needs.
For two years Jimenez took on the role of Associate Principal at Delhi High School as well as teaching AP literature classes and continuing as a senior class advisor.
“I mainly was in charge of curriculum and instruction,” said Jimenez. “I did some discipline but I did a lot of stuff with the common core.”
Another opportunity became available with the Stanislaus County Office of Education (SCOE) for a Director of Secondary School Support that Jimenez applied for and accepted. Her job was to help serve the 28 school districts within Stanislaus County.
At the county office she also created a high school network that is available on the SCOE website, as well as being the webmaster and content master of the Common Core website.
The Common Core website is my baby,” said Jimenez. “It has been highlighted at the state of the California Department of Education as an excellent website for resources.”
The website projects took a lot of time to create because she wanted a place for administrators, teachers, and parents to get information and find the best resources.
She also created a website for high school administrators with new administrators in mind for projects, time management, evaluations, and more.
Although Jimenez said she really enjoyed her job at SCOE and loved the people there, she missed being on a school site.
“I missed the students,” said Jimenez. “This is the first job I left after one year because I missed being at a site.
“So when this opportunity came up (RHS Principal) I took advantage of it and I am very grateful. I think this is the place I am supposed to be.”
Being a fan of athletics, Jimenez expressed that she tries to get to as many home and away games of school teams as possible.
“School should be a place for everyone and some of the kids need that hook whether it’s athletics or theater or music or AP classes,” said Jimenez. “A place where you fit in and if it’s athletics, so be it.”
The new principal already has some plans as the new 2013-14 school year begins, like implementation of the Common Core and looking into 21st Century learning with the continuing rise of technology.
“I am really excited to be here,” added Jimenez. “I really like being at a site and really enjoy high school students.”