Meet Our Principal

Dear Ánimo Family,

At Ánimo Leadership, we are a community of scholars working to forge an equitable future for our school and community. Together, we engage in rigorous and relevant coursework, learn about our own community and others’, explore various career and college paths, and lead with innovation and compassion. It is our vision that at Ánimo Leadership, every student will have an equitable, rigorous, and engaging learning experience that will prepare them for college, leadership, and life.

This vision articulates our hopes and dreams as a school community, and helps to define our path to get there. If you are new to the Ánimo Leadership family, you have just entered into a very special place. Leadership is a community where everyone believes in their heart and soul that every child must be prepared for college, leadership, and life - and that this begins as soon as our students walk in our doors as 9th graders. Our school is defined by a social justice imperative that says students who grow up in the Lennox and Inglewood communities can and will achieve at the same level as their more affluent peers. This is a place where academic acceleration is truly happening: in the 2021-22 school year, Leadership has one of the highest proficiency rates among Green Dot high schools on the ELA and math SBAC tests.

Our dedicated and talented staff serves approximately 650 students in grades 9-12. In addition to a rigorous and engaging A-G core curriculum, we offer a variety of additional opportunities to educate the whole child:

• An advisory program that builds students' social-emotional skills, academic habits, and college awareness
• Multiple teacher-sponsored and arc-sponsored clubs, from drama to dance to art to our Stonewall Alliance
• Targeted math and reading intervention that accelerates our students' growth in order to help them reach grade level proficiency
• Enrichment electives that foster creativity and collaboration: technology, drama, art, robotics, composition, ethnic studies, and College Readiness 12
• 7 competitive teams: basketball, softball, baseball, soccer, and volleyball
• Assemblies, award ceremonies, and incentive events that recognize and celebrate student success
• Yearly field trips to local universities

Parents and guardians are always welcome at our school. We view our parents and families as important partners in providing our children with meaningful educational experiences and supporting their full development. Further, we encourage you to become active participants in your child's education by attending parent workshops and monthly family meetings, volunteering to help at our school, or engaging in a nightly routine of reading to your child, talking about their day, and getting them prepared for the next day of school.

We invite you to join our community as we work together to best serve our students. Please don't hesitate to call our office or join us at our monthly Coffee with the Principal meetings, which are on the school calendar. Whether you are a student, a parent, a teacher, or a community member, we welcome you to the Ánimo Leadership family.

In partnership,
Danielle Berger

Danielle Berger

Our Team

We care about our students and community, and we are proud to serve all students. 

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First Name Last Name Position
Iracema Alvarado Parent Coordinator
Denise Amezcua College Readiness Teacher
Eduardo Andrade Biology Teacher
Amelia Arambula Assistant Principal
Alejandro Barajas Art Teacher
Danielle Berger Principal
Dalia Bessudo Math Teacher
Austin Bruns English Teacher
Jorge Bucio Guard
Stacie Camacho Counselor
Francesca Campbell Psychologist
Liliana Castaneda SPED Teacher
Elizabeth Chavez Math Teacher
Taylor Ciano Social Science Teacher
Jacqueline Ciriaco Office Assistant
Samantha Diego English Teacher
Sarah Ducker Assistant Principal
Gabriela Duran School Operations Manager
Sandra Estrada Spanish Teacher
Judith Flores Spanish Teacher
Amy Hernandez Office Assistant
Brandon Kawata Physics Teacher
Kathleen LaFrance Social Science Teacher
Jessica Lopez English Teacher
Jonathan Loyola Math Teacher
Rollin Matthews Counselor
Patrick McDowell Math Teacher
Sergio Medrano Physical Education Teacher
Yahaira Navarcia SPED Teacher
Evelyn Navarro Math Teacher
Jeffrey O'Brien English Teacher
Princewell Obinma Office Assistant
Danielle Oh English Teacher
Yoolee Park Biology Teacher
Maire-Rose Pike Drama Teacher
Jay Quincy Social Science Teacher
David Ramos Technology Teacher
Cynthia Reyes Spanish Teacher
Raymundo Rosa Campus Aide/Security Guard
Carrol Rowland SPED Teacher
Lei-Ana Ruebe Chemistry Teacher
Tedd Spater Social Science Teacher
Catherine Stine English Teacher