Meet Dr. Mendoza, DRA’s new principal


Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






It is an honor to introduce myself as the new principal of Desert Ridge Academy Middle School and to join this extraordinary school community. I hope that this note finds you enjoying the rejuvenating days of summer and that you and your children are looking forward to beginning a wonderful school year together. I can assure you that I share this school community’s commitment to caring for your children each and every day while providing them a world-class learning environment. 

I arrive to DRA as a seasoned educator and ever-evolving leader.  2019-20 will mark my 14th year as an educator. I have been serving the Coachella Valley Unified School District for 13 years. I taught fourth grade, seventh & eight grade math and High School math, all grade levels and math levels ranging from algebra I / imath1 to precalculus and trigonometry. Throughout my 13 years of service, I have taken different leadership roles such as a staff developer, after school program coordinator in middle and high school, Units of Study Writer, Curriculum and Assessment Teacher on Special Assignment, High School Assistant Principal, High School Interim Principal and most recently Coordinator of Testing and Assessments. I have also coordinated and supported secondary projects working alongside the College and Career Readiness Coordinator, and the Career Technical Education Coordinator. Additionally, and concurrently, I have stayed atop of current educational research by obtaining a master’s degree in educational administration and a Doctorate in Education in Educational Leadership with a focus on mentorship. 

Nonetheless, I am first and foremost a mother, wife, daughter, sister and auntie. In the fall, my daughter Scarlett begins seventh grade, my son Brandon begins tenth grade, and my son Jason will begin twelfth grade. Both my boys are dedicated baseball players, such passion and dedication was learned and nurtured by my wonderful husband, Rene. I have wonderful loving parents, five sisters (one in heaven), three brothers and 28 nieces and nephews (Last time I counted).   I look forward to introducing my family (maybe not my whole family) to the many wonderful people of our DRA and DSUSD school community. 

As the new DRA Principal, I plan to embrace and support current successful practices while collaborating with all stakeholders including but not limited to students, school leaders, community members, teachers, parents and staff in developing strategies for student achievement. I will ensure that each member of DRA school community receives all necessary supports in order to meet their individualized goals for the success of all of our students. I will support and facilitate the implementation of DRA’s multi-tiered systems of support to ensure our students’ social emotional, behavioral and academic well-being.

In closing, I cannot wait to meet you all! Please know that my door is always open to you. I heartily welcome your conversations and positive input throughout this year. Let us always keep our students the primary focus of our work. I look forward to celebrating our collective successes during the 2019-20 school year.

Dr. Jessica Mendoza

Desert Ridge Academy Principal