The Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District (LVJUSD) is pleased to announce the following administrative appointments effective July 1, 2016:
Alex Eckert, Principal, Vineyard Alternative School & Livermore Adult School. Alex Eckert will take the lead as Principal of Vineyard Alternative School and Livermore Adult School. He has successfully served as Mendenhall Middle School Vice Principal for the past two years. Prior to his Mendenhall assignment, Mr. Eckert served as a Vice Principal at Livermore High School. Earlier in his career, Mr. Eckert taught high school math for eight years, where he was guided by the belief that students should be informed about, and involved in, every aspect of their learning.
Mr. Eckert has chaired WASC Committees and led school-wide professional development on a range of educational topics including Standards-Based Grading and Common Core math. Mr. Eckert took a leading role in the District-wide initiative to inform parents about Common Core math and hosted several Parent Information nights throughout the District. Additionally, Mr. Eckert has coached football, served as a site technology lead, and coordinated mentorship programs for students. In 2013, he delivered a riveting TEDx talk about innovation in education. Mr. Eckert is excited about this new challenge of empowering students to be co-creators of their educational experience through project-based and blended learning opportunities. He brings enthusiasm and expertise to this expanded leadership role.
Outside of school, Alex enjoys family time with his wife Stacy and their three young children. The Eckerts are Livermore residents and they love being involved in this amazing community. They enjoy going on bike rides, watching Warriors basketball, and traveling.
Matthew Hart, Vice Principal, Granada High School. For the past year, Matthew Hart has been the Vice Principal at Joe Michell K-8 School. As Vice Principal, Mr. Hart helped implement a new advisory period for middle school students, which provides lessons on goal-setting as well as time for academic support. He was also instrumental in establishing a new performing arts program, whereby every student in grades six through eight will experience either Theatre Acting or Stagecraft. In addition, he has worked with teachers throughout the school on State and District assessments, data analysis, and the continued growth of the school’s TK-8th Grade International Baccalaureate Programme, for which the school won a 2016 California Gold Ribbon Award and 2016 Academic Achievement Award.
Before moving into administration, Mr. Hart taught English at Granada High School for sixteen years. He grew up in the Fresno area of the Central Valley and attended Clovis West High School. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from California State University, Fresno and a Master of Arts degree in English Literature from California State University, Hayward.
During his time at Granada, Mr. Hart filled many roles on campus. He was the English Department chair for six years, and he was the WASC Self-Study Coordinator, which led to work as the school’s Intervention Coordinator. His work in redesigning intervention for the English Department helped earn the school a CA Gold Ribbon Award in 2015. At the District level, he worked as a teacher mentor through the Peer Assistance and Review program and has worked as Summer School High School and Middle School Principal. He also worked for ten years as an adjunct English teacher at Chabot College in Hayward.
As for his personal life, Matthew lives in Livermore with his wife and two children, both of whom attend LVJUSD K-8 schools. Matthew coaches both of his children in Little League baseball and in his leisure time he likes to read, hike, and play his banjo.
Welcome New Administrators!
Tara Aderman, Principal, Altamont Creek Elementary School. Mrs. Tara Aderman is a dynamic leader with a proven track record of cultivating excellent teachers and establishing innovative programs for students. Mrs. Aderman has been an accomplished educator for over fifteen years, including teaching at East Avenue Middle School, and serving as the Livermore Valley Charter School (LVCS) Principal for the past nine years. She earned her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction and her Administrative Credential from Chapman University.
Throughout her career, she has displayed a passion for ensuring that all students receive a high quality, rigorous instructional program that focuses on the whole child.
As an administrator, Mrs. Aderman gained valuable expertise in designing interdisciplinary learning models that promote individual student success, nurture curiosity, encourage creativity, and foster compassion. She is well-versed in early literacy and writing across the curriculum. She believes effective communication, innovative enrichment programs, and school volunteer opportunities build essential strong partnerships with families and the larger community. Mrs. Aderman is student-centered and views the principal’s primary role as cultivating a school environment in which everyone shares a vision of focusing on learners—with all resources, decisions, and actions aligned to support student learning. She considers one of her top accomplishments as a principal to be creating a school climate in which the parents and educators work in partnership as a team, so that students thrive, and kids come first. She is particularly enthusiastic about the enhanced Project Lead the Way STEM focus of Altamont Creek Elementary, which earned the school a 2016 CA Gold Ribbon Award, its dedicated and collaborative staff, and its actively engaged parent community.
Outside of school, Mrs. Aderman enjoys reading, dining out and sampling different cuisines, and traveling the globe. She is a lifelong learner, avidly partaking in ongoing professional development opportunities and sharing her knowledge and expertise with colleagues at the local, regional and national level.
Risha Krishna, Vice Principal, Joe Michell K-8 School. Risha Krishna has an authentic passion for serving students, as evidenced by having earned a Master’s Degree in Education from Stanford University and through her sixteen years of service as a California educator. As a Bay Area high school history teacher, Mrs. Krishna created and developed an A-G elective course, Ethnic Studies, which was approved by the University of California system. This award-winning, multicultural course has now been adopted by many school districts in California as it focuses on developing students to become culturally sensitive citizens. Mrs. Krishna is a firm believer in creating learning opportunities for students that help them interact with their school community and beyond. Having traveled on two Fulbright-Hays scholarships to South Africa in 2004 and Germany in 2010, Mrs. Krishna brought these experiences to her students by creating a travel exchange reciprocity program with a sister school in Germany, which exposed her students to international perspectives at early ages. In addition, Mrs. Krishna built a summer program for students at the Martin Luther King Institute at Stanford University, where students interact with primary source documents surrounding the Civil Rights Movement.
Mrs. Krishna enjoys fostering collegiality through professional learning communities, and has served as department chair, mentor teacher, and developed an English Language Development Support Center. She has participated in the National Endowment for Humanities/Latino Studies, Gilder Lehrman seminar on Civil Rights at Cambridge University and this summer she will be assisting in a Native American Studies Seminar at Dartmouth College. In 2015, Mrs. Krishna was selected to serve on the California Instructional Quality Commission (IQC), which advises the State Board on TK-12 curriculum implementation. Mrs. Krishna has written numerous grants that have benefited schools in the form of bringing Arts and recycled materials benches for student seating at the site. She has also been active in engaging her students through a model United Nations in-class project where students communicate with other schools online solving real world issues.
When not working, Mrs. Krishna enjoys writing and traveling to new places with her husband, Dave. She is a mother to two children, both who are students in the University of California system, and has enjoyed raising her children in the Bay Area’s public school system, where she volunteered throughout their K-12 experience. She loves the outdoors and can be found regularly hiking, walking her dog Casper and finding enjoyment in her Zumba classes.
Mrs. Krishna is happy to join the Joe Michell team and is looking forward to this next step in her educational leadership journey.