Leadership Team

Jessica MendozaDr. Jessica Mendoza, Principal

It is an honor to introduce myself as principal of Desert Ridge Academy Middle School and this extraordinary school community.  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. 

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 2020-21 school year.

Dr. Jessica Mendoza [email protected]

MrSolisMr. Philip Solis, Assistant Principal 

I am originally from the southeast Los Angeles area, and completed a BS in Criminology at Long Beach State University. I started my career as a math teacher working in Long Beach Unified, and later in LAUSD -all in the middle school setting. During that time, I extended my professional responsibilities by writing curriculum, participating in district level committees, and developing leadership skills as a department chair of both math and sciences. Having an interest in school leadership, I completed a Masters in Educational Leadership at the University of California at Santa Barbara.  I believe strongly that all students can learn and be successful in school; I’ve worked extensively to support English Language Learners and students with disabilities in my roles as both an educator and as a coach. As an educator over the past 24 years I’ve learned that while it’s important to have high expectations for all learners, it’s also important to support students and their families/guardians all throughout the process so that they can achieve their potential.

My email is [email protected].

Ms. Meredith Greenwood - Middle School Facilitator 

[email protected]

Mrs HernandezVeronica Hernandez, TRAC Instructional Coach

I was born and raised here in the Coachella Valley.  I attended Desert Sands schools and after graduating from Indio High School, I earned my Bachelor's & Master's Degree from CSU San Bernardino.  I have been teaching since 1995 and I have taught 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade.  I was also a Project Teacher for 3 years at the middle school level.  I am so excited to be a part of this incredible DRA family as the new Instructional Coach.  I am eager to help teachers and students in our future academic success.  

[email protected]

Guiding Coalition/Department Leads

 Linda Martin English Language Arts
 Darin Martin Social Studies
 Jessica Pitchford  Math
 Randy Lethlean  Science
 Lauren Shibata  Electives
 Jacqueline Ortiz  Special Education
 Christopher Gomez  Physical Education 

Leadership Teacher - ASB/Renaissance/WEB/Yearbook

Terresa Amidei 


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