Principal Patty McDonald

When I joined the Summerdale Staff , I could tell that Summerdale was a special place. The school staff and parent community are dedicated to providing a high quality education in an environment that promotes optimal learning for every student. Though I am new to Summerdale as a principal, my connection with the Berryessa Union School District has been a lengthy one. In fact, my grandmother and her siblings were students at the original Berryessa School!

I grew up in southern California and moved to Santa Clara Valley to attend San Jose State University. I have lived here ever since. Before returning to school to complete my teaching credential in the early 1980's, I worked in the Disabled Students' Program at Evergreen Valley College. My work experience there continues to influence my career to this day. I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies, a Master's of Education in Educational Leadership, and a California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential - all awarded from San Jose State University. I am currently completing a doctorate of education degree in the Joint Doctoral Program at the University of California at Santa Cruz. In 1985 I was hired by the Berryessa Union School District as a kindergarten teacher. I have had experience in many grade levels but spent most of my teaching career as a first grade teacher. I used to tell people that I was a magician because I turned six and seven year-olds into readers! For the five years previous to my coming to Summerdale I served as a new teacher mentor and advisor.

Working as an educator and continuing my studies in education have provided me with a broader understanding of the complexities of teaching and learning and has caused me to reflect more deeply about the influences on student and adult learning. I hope that my reflection, experience, and passion for teaching and learning will benefit the Summerdale community.

 In short, the habits we form from childhood make no small difference, but rather they make all the difference.
- Aristotle