I grew up near Los Angeles, attended Santa Monica High School, and UC Santa Cruz where I received a BA in Latin American and Latino Studies.  While at UC Santa Cruz, I was able to study abroad in Costa Rica, where my love for Latin America and the Spanish and Portuguese languages blossomed.  I went on to teach ESL at private schools on Wilshire Blvd, while completing my MA degree in Education from Pepperdine.  Manual Arts High School was my first teaching job, and I loved the school and community, but when we bought our first house, we moved, and I started teaching at Reseda High School.  During this time I developed an interest in landscaping and completed 28 units towards a degree in Landscape Design from Pierce College, and I also transferred to Thoreau Continuation High School, where I was the EL and Test Coordinator, as well as English/electives teacher. Once I arrived at Thoreau HS, I knew where my heart was, and I completed a second Masters degree in Educational Administration, and then I applied for the Principal position at Wooden HS.  I have been at this wonderful school for 5 years, in which time we have created many community partnerships including, and have developed a strong college and career culture.  We have a very dedicated and innovative staff, and I love our school and feel very fortunate to be part of this community.  

Ms. Laura Novak