Return to Headlines

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

Duarte Unified School District is pleased to announce that after an extensive application process, Dr. Esther Tamanaha has been selected as the new principal of Royal Oaks STEAM Academy. Dr. Tamanaha’s appointment was approved by the Board of Education at the Regular Meeting held on June 13, 2019.

“I am thrilled to welcome aboard 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.”

Dr. Tamanaha was born in South Korea and lived on a farm before moving to Los Angeles when she was seven years old. Being the only child of immigrant parents who had less than a sixth grade education, and who did not speak English, she would describe herself as an at-risk learner. She firmly believed that if it were not for a few key educators, her life might have taken a different trajectory. That is why she decided to pursue a career in education where she can now also positively affect the lives of others.

Dr. Tamanaha began her journey in the field of education in 2006. She holds a degree in English and a teaching credential from California State University Long Beach. Her love for learning carried her to Cal Poly Pomona for a Master of Education degree, and then finally to the University of Southern California, where she completed her doctoral studies in 2014.

With thirteen years of experience, first as a high school English teacher at Hacienda La Puente Unified, then as a district curriculum coordinator, and most recently as a high school assistant principal at Rowland Unified. Dr. Tamanaha comes to Royal Oaks STEAM Academy as passionate about serving students as she was her first day of teaching. 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.