Introducing new assistant principal Daniella Quiñones


Carly Heltzel

After several stages of interviews to narrow down over 90 applicants, the school selected Daniella Quiñones as a new assistant principal. Principal David Grissom said administration believes she has the inherent traits and job experience to be a positive addition to the community.

Quiñones will assume responsibilities such as the master schedule, assessments, and working with the counseling department.

Quiñones is replacing Carmen Gómez, who stepped down at the end of last school year but will take on slightly different responsibilities based on her individual qualities.

The administration did not restrict the search by setting criteria or focusing on their specific qualifications; instead, they considered how well the candidate would fit into and benefit the school.

“We had not decided what role that person would necessarily take,” Grissom said. “We left that open-ended and tried to center on who was the best person for the job.”

Quiñones will handle facilities rentals and operations, oversee disaster planning, and run assessments such as Advanced Placement testing and the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress testing.

At Capuchino High School she held several leadership positions such as the Instructional Technology Leader, Data Assessment Coordinator, World Language Department Co-chair, a Western Association of Schools and Colleges Coordinator and an Instructional Teaching Coach.

Despite her extensive leadership experience, Quiñones has never held an administrative position before. She said she is most intimidated by the prospect of dealing with discipline issues such as misbehaving students and dealing out consequences.

My number one goal is to listen and learn and be a team player

Grissom emphasized the value of her experience in data analysis because he said that one of the goals for improvement that WASC gave the school after their visit last spring, was better and further use of data. Statistical findings are used to assess student success and needs, among other things according to the MVLA website.

Gómez, as the only Latina and immigrant assistant principal, was widely regarded as a major figure in the Latino, immigrant, and Spanish-speaking communities such as spearheading parent outreach, immigrant support, and English Language Development efforts.

Quiñones poses with her family: (from left) her husband, her 1-year-old son, Quiñones, and her 3-year-old daughter.

In a school with a Latino population of 22% and a high parent and student immigrant population, Gómez was also valued as a role model and cultural representative in administration. According to Grissom, ethnic representation was taken into account during the hiring process, but it was among many other factors that were considered.

Growing up in both San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico, Quiñones describes herself as “bilingual and bicultural.” She said she is a third-generation teacher who“loves to share her language and culture with [her] students.”

For the past nine years, she taught Spanish and Spanish for native speakers, the most recent seven at Capuchino High School in San Bruno.

Outside of school, she loves to play with her 3-year-old daughter and her 1-year-old son, as well as bake and go to the park.

“My number one goal is to listen and learn and be a team player,” Quiñones said. “I am new to this school and community, and even though I know somewhat about [it], I have a lot to learn. I’m really impressed by the amazing staff, the teachers, the administration, and I can’t wait to be a part of this strong team.”

Images courtesy of Daniella Quiñones