Dr. Taylor, Executive Principal
Dr. Taylor has a BA in communications from Cal State Hayward, and attended UC Berkeley, Holy Names, Mills College, PBC, and Relay Graduate School of Education for her MA, PhD, Teaching Credential and graduate work in Education Leadership. She taught English/History Core 7th/8th Grade and the Chorus at John Muir Middle School in San Leandro Unified School District for 9 years. Back in 2006 the state of California introduced No Child Left Behind, and this law transitioned her teaching career into an administrative pathway. Dr. Taylor considers herself a life-long teacher, and still enjoys spending time in the classroom. Dr. Taylor's role at MPA has evolved over the course of her tenure. Initially, it was to transition a site slated for closure. Then it was to transition outcomes for low performing students. Over the course of several years, it has been to create and establish a model community school campus, with technology at the center. Now, she is working on expansion, and college and career ready students and families. Dr. Taylor has been the face of consistency in an environment where her students need positive role models. What gets her most excited to be a principal is the faces of her students. She has watched most of them grow from primary students to high school students, and opportunity not many principals get. It is her proudest moment to watch them graduate from high school, knowing they are headed to college.
Cecilia Terrazas, Assistant Principal of Climate and Culture
Cecilia is a Los Angeles native who has over eighteen years experience in the field of education, youth development, community organizing and advocacy efforts aimed at improving schools and communities in under resourced areas. She was born and raised in Hawthorne California and attended UCLA where she obtained a B.A in Sociology. Prior to joining MPA, she attended the University of California, Berkeley to receive her Master’s Degree in Social Welfare in 2009 and the Principal Leadership Institute at Cal in 2018 to receive a Master's in Educational Leadership. She is a high school teacher and union organizer who has been dedicated to providing at-risk and low-income youth with resources and assistance to reach their educational, emotional, and personal goals. Cecilia is also the proud mother of an energetic and caring 8 year son, Ollin, and a fun loving 12 year old, Sol, with whom she shares her passion for music and laughter.
LaDonna Williams, Assistant Principal of Instruction
It is a great honor to join the MPA Family. I am excited to be working in East Oakland where I grew up and all of my formative years were established. I am a native of Oakland and attended school in Oakland all of my life: The Art School, Carl B. Munck Elementary, Montera Jr. High School, and Holy Names High School. As a Bay Area native, I attended college locally at Cal State East Bay where I majored in English. Upon graduating college in 1998, I began working in education and received a scholarship from the TEAMS Program at the University of San Francisco to earn my teaching credential. My first teaching assignment was 2nd grade at St. Martin de Porres School in North Oakland in 1999. While I enjoyed that experience, I realized that my passion was working at the Secondary Level so I quickly transitioned to teaching High School. While teaching, I earned my teaching credential from the University of San Francisco in 2001. I taught at McAteer High School in San Francisco where I learned to become an expert on EL Learners and honed my skills in teaching bilingual populations. In the summer of 2001 I attended the Vistas Language Program in Oaxaca Mexico and lived and studied amongst a community of Spanish Speakers and learned Spanish. It was due to the strong EL background I was able to accept a position at Oakland High in the fall of 2001 through their bilingual department. I taught at Oakland High for 6 years teaching a myriad of subjects such as Academic Literacy, ELD Newcomer Classes, English 9, 10, and 12 in two separate cohorts geared toward supporting EL Learners and the Environmental Science Academy In 2006, I entered the Principal Leadership Institute at UC Berkeley earning my Administrative Credential and Masters in Education in 2007. My administrative Credential lead me to work as an Assistant Principal and Principal in the Oakland Unified and West Contra Costa School Districts. In all, I have been privileged to have served the amazing diverse communities of The Bay Area for 21 years and looking forward to serving the MPA Community as I continue my commitment to educating the youth of Oakland in some of our most marginalized communities.
I am grateful for the opportunity to serve you and I look forward to meeting all of wonderful students, staff and families here,