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Dr. Esther Tamanaha Selected as New Principal of Royal Oaks STEAM Academy

View Official Press Release here.

Duarte Unified School District is pleased to announce that Dr. Esther Tamanaha has been selected as the new principal of Royal Oaks STEAM Academy. A rigorous selection process concluded on June 13, 2019 when Dr. Tamanaha’s appointment was approved by the Board of Education at its regular meeting. 

“I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Tamanaha to our leadership team,” stated Superintendent Amerson. “Her energy and enthusiasm are infectious. She has a wide-breadth of experience, a strong pedagogical foundation that includes an emphasis in secondary education, and a unique perspective that will serve our Royal Oaks learning community well.”

The only child of a rural South Korean immigrant family, Dr. Tamanaha moved to Los Angeles when she was seven years old. Her parents received the equivalent of a grammar school  education and did not speak English when they arrived. She described herself as an at-risk learner. 

Her passion for education and her firm belief that it alone has the power to change the trajectory of children’s lives stems from her own immigrant experience. She maintains that if not for a few key educators, her life might have taken an entirely different path. She joined the profession in 2006 after graduating with a BA in English and a teaching credential from California State University, Long Beach. She received her M.ED from Cal Poly, Pomona and her doctorate from the University of Southern California. 

Dr. Tamanaha brings a breadth of knowledge and a variety of experiences to the Royal Oaks STEAM Academy. After launching her career as a high school English teacher before elevating to Curriculum Coordinator, the thirteen-year veteran served the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District before becoming a high school assistant principal in the Rowland Unified School District. She is as passionate about serving students today as she was her first day of teaching and eagerly awaits leading the Royal Oaks team. Dr. Tamanaha shares, “It is an honor to have been selected as the Principal of Royal Oaks STEAM Academy, and I am excited to work collaboratively with the staff, families and students of this special community to provide the best education for our future generations.”

In addition to her love for education, Dr. Tamanaha also enjoys reading, traveling, and exploring amazing places to eat with her family and friends. Nowadays, she and her husband spend most of their time chasing around their four year-old son Zachary and 10 month-old twins Charlotte and Olivia.

Dr. Tamanaha was introduced to the public at the Regular Meeting of the Board of Education held on June 27, and she will officially join the administrative team of Royal Oaks on July 1. She will have the support of Assistant Principal, Mrs. Erin Fish, as well as Dr. Tatiana White, who has been newly appointed to serve as the school’s Teaching and Learning Coach (TLC). Also joining the Royal Oaks family is new school counselor, Mr. Eric Hernandez.

Dr. Esther Tamanaha