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posted Apr 26, 2017, 8:07 AM by Kristin Hernandez   [ updated Apr 26, 2017, 8:18 AM ]
Dee Castellano in her office.

Photo: Dee Castellano in her office at Phoenix Academy. Castellano currently serves as Assistant Principal, and will transition to Principal in July. 

Earlier this spring, the AVUSD Board of Trustees named Dee Castellano principal of Phoenix Academy effective July 1, 2017. Castellano first came to the school in 2010 as Site Program and Assessment Coordinator and has served as the school’s Assistant Principal since 2013. She will be stepping in for Phoenix’s current principal Mariana Torres, who was recently selected as the district’s Director of English Language Development Programs and College Readiness.

When asked what she is most looking forward to in the coming year, Castellano said that she looks forward to carrying on the tradition and the family atmosphere at Phoenix Academy. “The kids are our focus and we’re going to keep that focus,” she said. “This change is not going to be about me. It’s going to continue to be about us.”

“I look forward to every new school year because it is kind of like having a big family reunion,” Castellano said. “You get to meet new family you didn’t know you had and get to see the ones you knew before.”

Castellano first entered administration because she wanted to help students, families, and staff on a larger scale. “I like my role because I get to help more, but I get to help the teachers too. My teachers love what they do, but we all need support and I am honored that I get to play a role in that for them.”  

Castellano encouraged parents and families to connect with the campus and to get involved in the coming year. “Don’t be afraid to come and ask a question, share a concern, or make a suggestion,” she said. “Be active and involved because that will make all the difference in the world of the students.” 

Castellano started her career in education teaching math in Adelanto and Hesperia school districts, before coming to AVUSD in 2006 as a math teacher at Apple Valley High School. Before starting her second career in education, Dee was a Realtor. Castellano received her Masters in Curriculum and Instruction and her teaching credential at Chapman University. Prior to this, she received her associate’s degree at Victor Valley College and her bachelor’s degree at the University of Phoenix.