Kirsten Zazo, Principal
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about Encinal Junior and Senior High School by looking at our website. I am proud to serve as the principal and educational leader of our dynamic school of approximately 1300 students in grades six through twelve. Our team of approximately 80 teachers and staff work hard every single day to get to know the stories of our students in an effort to continuously improve to meet the needs of our diverse student body.
Encinal High School opened in 1954 and we added our middle school program in the fall of 2013. Located between the San Francisco Bay and Central Avenue in Alameda, our school has a view as beautiful as the students who attend our school. Since we are the Home of the Jets, we are easily recognizable when you drive by the front of the school as we have a Jet soaring above the parking lot of our site.
There are so many things I am proud of by being the principal of this unique school. Our diversity, ethnically, racially and socio-economically student body, creates a community that mirrors the world our students need to be prepared to live in. Our students are able to not only learn much about the world from their talented teachers and staff, but also their peers. I am proud of the academic opportunities we provide our students from AP classes to intervention classes and everything in between. We have award-winning music and JROTC programs. We have an incredible drama program and an athletic program that consistently produces winners both in and out of the classroom. Our alumni attend and have attended some of the most prestigious schools in the country including Harvard, Yale, Stanford, MIT, Harvey Mudd, Brown, and UC Berkeley (among others). We have over 30 clubs on campus that represent the varied interests of our students, and if we don't have a club a student wants, we encourage them to start it. I am proud of the fact that we walk our talk in terms of providing opportunities for our students.
I am proud of our community groups that also work tirelessly for our students. Our PTSA, Athletic Boosters, Band Boosters and Drama Boosters are always looking to provide more for our students. Additionally, we have a very active, very involved Alumni Club that radiate the very essence of Jet Pride.
Finally, anecdotes are great and a huge piece of the puzzle, but it's nice to get a little data validation as well. Our most recent like-school score that was released in September of 2014 by the Department of Education is a ten. That is something every student, teacher, parent and community member should be extremely proud of. Encinal is by no means perfect, but I am proud of the fact that we are striving every single day to improve for our students.
To learn more about Encinal please feel free to contact Tracy Allegrotti at (510) 748-4023, ext., 3103 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tracy Allegrotti, Dean of Counseling
I have been a Jet my whole life. Although both my parents went to that school that shall not be named-- I remember my dad singing me their fight song (yes, I do know it)-- I have always been a Jet. And, now I can say proudly I live in a house of Jets. I met my husband at this great place, and all three of our daughters are proud Jet graduates as well. The things I loved about this place in 1977 are the same things I love about it in 2015. I love the kids, their inclusion of people, their good hearts, their incredible brains, (and on most days) their good choices. I love the compassion and caring of the entire community. I love the feeling of always being the under-dog that never gives up. I love our homecoming and our spirit. I love the diversity and the many lessons I learn here every single day about real people and real lives and real struggles and real successes. I love the fact that this is truly the best kept secret on the island, and the only people who really know it are those of us who have experienced it...we are the ones who truly know what Jet Pride is all about.
Currently, I am the Dean of Counseling at Encinal. I handle the master schedule, all school calendars, enrollment, tours, inter-district permits, and testing. I also work on the website, and any other odd jobs that I am asked to do. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about these items or anything else. If I do not know an answer, I will gladly find the person who does.
ZaRinah Tillman, Dean of Students
My name is ZaRinah Tillman and I’m very excited to be a new member of the Jet Family! Here’s a little background information about me. I’m the oldest of six children, three brothers and two sisters. I was born in Washington D.C. but was raised most of my life in West Oakland. I’m also the proud mother of two very active little boys and will soon be changing my last name to Mrs. Perry! I have been in education for over 10 years, I first began my career in Oakland for two years serving as an educator for a charter school, then moved to Hayward for eight years, and now I’m proud to be an Encinal Jet as the Dean of Students.
As the Dean, I am responsible for handling most of the behavior issues that go through the Student Justice Center, which can include suspensions or detentions depending on the severity of the infraction committed. I also oversee facilities and safety throughout the campus.
What I like most about Encinal first and foremost, is the wonderful group of staff members and students and their families. I have felt nothing but a warm sense of belonging since I was first brought aboard to join the Jet Team. The atmosphere here has been very friendly since day one, making me feel at ease right away and very welcomed. (I also love the bay view next to the track by the way, my kind of view!)
I really look forward to working with everyone and having a great school year.
Micki Singer, Coordinator of Student Life & Athletic Director
Upon retiring from the practice of law after a twenty year career, I began teaching at EHS in 2010. It has been my great pleasure and honor to utilize my legal background, passion for advocacy, and keen interest in public policy to create and implement the Student Justice Center, an innovative new student-centered program at EHS. In my role as SJC Director, I support staff and students in sustaining a safe and stable school climate through effective implementation of Restorative practices. Utilizing their training as advocates and peer mentors, my SJC student-members give offenders a voice in the discipline process, which in turn provides the opportunity for self-reflection, a necessary component for true accountability and change.
I am also the school’s Director of Athletics, guiding a program that strives to combine athletic excellence with academic achievement while charging its student-athletes to be classroom and community leaders. Encinal currently has over 400 students competing in athletics - more than one-third of the entire student body. EHS student-athletes consistently have higher grade point averages, higher rates of attendance, fewer tardies, and higher rates of graduation as compared to non-athletes. Last year, 7 of the top 10 graduates, including the valedictorian and salutatorian, were varsity student-athletes. Student-athletes who compete with the Bay Area’s best on the field of play, and take a back seat to no one in the classroom, is the paradigm upon which our Athletic Department is built.
Liz Fernandez-Rivera, Activities Director
A mighty Jets welcome to Encinal High School! Please allow me to introduce myself: I'm Elizabeth Fernandez-Rivera and I've been a teacher at Encinal for the last sixteen years teaching Spanish, ELD and advisory. For the last two years I've been the Activities Director/Leadership Advisor. Some of the events our students coordinate are: Freshman Orientation, Club Week, Homecoming, Blood Drives, Can Food Drives, Winter Wonderland, 8th Grade Information Night, Unity Fair, lunchtime activities, dances and many class events. Encinal is all about great kids who are hardworking, honest, accepting and above all overflowing with Jet spirit. Being activities director is a very rewarding job because I get to interact with students who want to better not only their school, but also the community.
On a personal note I was raised in Alameda and still live here. Although I graduated from the other high school, I can honestly tell you one of the greatest days of my life happened last June when I had the honor of presenting my son his diploma when he graduated from Encinal High School. During his four years at EHS he met many wonderful people who inspired him to continue his education. I'm very proud to call these people my colleagues.
Kelly Andrews, Junior Jet Coordinator
I have worked in education since 2007 as both a school counselor and a school psychologist. I began my career at the elementary and high school levels and then shifted into working with middle school, which I absolutely love. Middle school students bring so much energy and curiosity - it's infectious. I was lucky to join the Junior Jets program for its first year, upon my move to the Bay Area in 2013. It gives me pride to watch our students and the program grow and thrive.
The Junior Jets middle school is a small, community-oriented magnet program that focuses on the social and emotional needs of this unique age group. Our students begin exploring their post-secondary goals in sixth grade and are able to pave their academic paths towards those goals at an early age. As a school with sixth through twelfth grades, we have the flexibility to tailor our student’s course loads to their specific interests and needs by accessing high school level classes. As the Junior Jet Coordinator, I am responsible for the organizing and facilitating all middle school events, recruiting and welcoming new students (and families), coaching teachers and staff, and ensuring that we are always considering the middle school perspective when making school-wide decisions.
Cassie Ferguson, COST (Intervention) Coordinator
Born and raised in Indiana, I earned my undergraduate degree at Indiana University and my master's degree at Dominican University. I've been at Encinal for the last ten years where I've taught grade 9-11 English, Fusion literacy, English Language Development, AP support classes, and sophomore/junior advisory. In addition to teaching in the English department, I am also the Coordination of Services Team lead facilitator.
A Coordination of Services Team (COST) is a site based multidisciplinary team composed of service providers, school administration, and school staff. Weekly COST meetings provide a regular opportunity to triage intervention requests, assess student needs, and develop and monitor interventions to ensure those needs are met. Ultimately, the goal is to streamline the various intervention processes used at Encinal and strengthen the lines of communication between students, their families, and staff members. This dual role as teacher and intervention coordinator combine by two passions: rigorous educational equity and student advocacy.
Christina Craig-Chardon, Educational Equity & Family Engagement Coordinator
What I love most about being an Encinal Jet is the opportunities available for all Jets to grow. Our students and staff put together amazing programs and events such as the Red Cross Blood Drive, the Black Student Union's MLK Art Gallery, LGBTQ Month classroom lessons, as well as the contributions of 30 other clubs. I began my career at Encinal as one of the Office Managers and was afforded the opportunity to grow personally and professionally as the Junior Jets Office Manager and now as the Educational Equity and Family Engagement Coordinator.
As the EEFEC I am here as a resource for all students. I do case management for a small group of sophomores, I coordinate the Summer Matters and Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE) programs, serve as a community and parent liaison, and am Advisor to the Onaji Student Language Partnership, TUPE Peer Educators, Muslim Student Association, and the Black Student Union. It is wonderful to serve such a fantastic group of students and dedicated staff members. May Jet Pride live on!