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My Story

I grew up in Simi Valley and attended Bellwood Elementary School, Valley View Junior High, and Simi Valley High School (go Pioneers!). I had some amazing teachers throughout my years of schooling, but one in particular made a lasting impact on me, Mrs. Helen Daley. She was my teacher for 3rd, 4th and 6th grade, and she inspired me to become an educator. I began working with children at a young age when I started coaching gymnastics (my favorite sport). I saw how challenging and rewarding coaching could be, but decided to pursue my college degree in Human Resources Management at California State University Northridge. 

After getting my business degree, I went to work in corporate human resources and realized I wanted to make more of a difference in the world. I then went to work for a non-profit mental health agency in the San Fernando Valley in human resources and enjoyed that much more. However, I had decided to get my elementary teaching credential soon after, and completed my student teaching at Crestview Elementary School. I had an awesome master teacher in Mrs. Jan Brock, and she taught me much of what I still use today. I was hired to teach at Crestview for the next school year and my dream was a reality! I taught for nine years in 5th and 1st grade. By then, I had two young children of my own at home and needed to take a year off to reevaluate my priorities. 

It was the best decision I ever made, because I realized I wasn't done teaching, but needed more balance in my life. I started job sharing at Township Elementary School and taught 3rd grade for six years there.  During that time I decided I wanted to have a larger impact as an elementary school principal, so I enrolled in the Educational Leadership program through CSUN to get my Master's degree and administrative credential. I continued teaching for a couple of years after completing the program and got more involved in the Next Generation Science Standards implementation in our district, teaching two different sessions at Core Connections (Ed Camp style of professional development for Simi Educators).


I was hired to be the Dean of Students at Hillside Middle School (aka Hillside STEAM Academy) for the 2015/2016 school year. It was a huge jump going from the elementary world to secondary and it took me a while to familiarize myself with all the workings of middle school. The Hillside staff was very patient and supportive of me and I feel fortunate to have been part of the team. I was in charge of school safety and handled student discipline for a majority of each day. I was the CAASPP testing coordinator as well, and enjoyed much success with the students' performing very well on the state testing. After two short years, I was promoted to site principal at Katherine Elementary School. It has been a joy getting to know the staff and PTA at Katherine and I enjoy being a Katherine CROC.


School is a place of safety and learning where students are taught lifelong skills to make their dreams a reality. I am passionate about reading and science, in particular, and my desire is that all students will enjoy reading and value scientific learning for many years to come.

Shay Lundstrom

Shay Lundstrom