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Meet Our Principals


Mike Goldstein

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Mike Goldstein is beginning his 19th year in the Hawthorne School District.  He grew up in Santa Cruz California and attended college at the University of Redlands, where he played football and earned a BA in History. After graduating in 1997, he received his teaching credential and MA in Cross Cultural Teaching from National University.  In 1999 Mr. Goldstein was hired by the Hawthorne School District.  He worked at Hawthorne Middle School for 7 years as an 8th grade Language Arts/ Social Studies and Special Projects teacher.  During that time he enrolled in the Educational Administrative program at California State University Northridge, and graduated with an MA in Educational Administration in 2006.  Prior to becoming principal at Eucalyptus, Mr. Goldstein served as Assistant Principal at HMS (2006-2008) and Eucalyptus (2009) and Principal at York Elementary School from 2009-2013.

Mr. Goldstein lives in Redondo Beach with his wife Cynthia and two daughters; Cyndi (age 12) and Amanda (age 11). When he’s not at work, Mr. Goldstein enjoys traveling with his family.  He is excited to begin his 5th year as the Principal of Eucalyptus Elementary School. 

SchoolJosh Godin

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Josh Godin has been in the Hawthorne School District for 15 years. He started as a 5th grade teacher at Kornblum. He then left to teach 1st grade in New Mexico for one year, but he came back the next year to Jefferson Elementary. Mr. Godin taught a 1st and 2nd grade combination class, 3rd grade, and 4th grade while at Jefferson. He left Jefferson to become the Special Projects Teacher at Prairie Vista Middle School for 2 years. For the past four years he was the Assistant Principal at Bud Carson Middle School. This will be Mr. Godin’s first year as Principal at Jefferson!

Mr. Godin is excited to be back home at Jefferson and ready for a great year! He is excited to work with the outstanding staff at Jefferson and looks forward to a fun filled year with many opportunities for parents to see the successes at Jefferson. He knows the students will grow academically and socially throughout the year as they participate and experience all of the programs offered during the school day and afterschool as well.

For fun Mr. Godin likes to do many outdoor sports, such as surfing, basketball, and running with his two dogs on the beach, Morgan, 2 ½ and Cali, 2 years old. Mr. Godin grew up in Oregon and went to college at Portland State University. In college he played football and ran track. Mr. Godin also loves to travel with his wife of 10 years.



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Marisa  Stewart is proud to be the new Principal of Kornblum School. Mrs Stewart was born and raised in the Southbay area and has spent her entire career in education serving the families of the Hawthorne School District for the past 22 years.

Mrs. Stewart has worked in the Hawthorne School District since 1996 where she worked as an instructional aide at Zela Davis School. She became a bilingual teacher at Zela Davis and then later moved to Ramona School at the inception of the Two-Way Bilingual Immersion Program. She taught at Ramona School for several years until moving to the district office as the first district English Learner Specialist and earning district teacher of the year. Once completing the certificate for administration, Mrs. Stewart worked at Hawthorne Middle School, Eucalyptus School and most recently Prairie Vista South as assistant principal. She received her bachelor’s degree from California State University Long Beach. She completed her teaching credential program at Chapman University in Fullerton and later her Master’s Degree and Administrative credential through California State University Dominguez Hills.

Mrs. Stewart is excited to become a Kornblum Cardinal and work with the fantastic students, staff and families at Kornblum. This year the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program will be launched and it will just be another reason that Kornblum School is the place to be. That is why the school slogan is “Excellence is the Standard”.


Patricia Ray
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Patricia Ray has been named the new principal of Ramona School. Dr. Ray grew up in Anaheim, California but began her teaching career in the Bronx, New York. She returned to California and joined the Hawthorne School District family in 1999. She has taught third and fifth grades at Washington and Kornblum Elementary Schools and sixth grade math and science at Bud Carson Middle School. Dr. Ray also served as the literacy coach at Jefferson Elementary school for several years before becoming an administrator. Dr. Ray was the assistant principal at Zela Davis Elementary School and Prairie Vista Middle School before being promoted to principal of Prairie Vista Middle School.

Dr. Ray graduated from the University of San Diego in 1986 with a degree in political science and sociology, earned her teaching credential and master’s degree in elementary education from Hunter College in New York City, and attended Pepperdine University to complete a master’s degree in administration. Most recently Dr. Ray graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a doctoral degree in educational leadership for social justice.

Dr. Ray is prepared and excited to take on this new challenge of being the instructional leader at Ramona School. Go Rams!


Maritza Cruz-Brown
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Mrs. Cruz-Brown has been with the Hawthorne School District since 1998. She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1998 with a degree in sociology and earned her teaching credential from California State University, Dominguez Hills in 2003. In 2004, she received her master’s degree in administration from Pepperdine University.

Mrs. Cruz-Brown began her teaching career at Eucalyptus School, where she taught second and fifth grades. After nine years as a “koala-ty” educator, she became a hawk at Hawthorne Middle School, where she taught sixth grade math and science and played an integral part in the expansion of the Two-Way Bilingual Immersion Academy (TWBI). In 2012 she became the math coach for Washington and Kornblum Elementary Schools. After two years of coaching, she served as the assistant principal at Zela Davis Elementary School where she helped implement the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) program. She is very enthusiastic to start her third year as the principal of Washington Elementary School.

Mrs. Cruz-Brown grew up in Southern California and now resides in Lakewood, California with her family. They have always encouraged her to grow professionally and try new things. Mrs. Cruz-Brown enjoys traveling and making memories with her family.


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John Paterson is honored to be the new principal of York Elementary School. He earned his bachelor's degree in liberal studies from California State University Dominguez Hills, with an emphasis in mathematics. He also holds a  M.A. degree, in the field of Educational Technology, from Pepperdine University.

Mr. Paterson began his career with the Hawthorne School District in 2004, as a 4th and 5th grade teacher at Zela Davis. Then he became a teacher on special assignment, for three years, as District Math Coach. Mr. Paterson served as assistant principal in Hawthorne for 7 years at several schools in (PV South, Zela Davis and Prairie Vista). As an administrator, Mr. Paterson promotes the success of all students by maintaining a safe learning environment, where they can maximize their potential as members in a community of lifelong learners and strive to positively contribute to our advancing global society.

Zela Davis

Matt Rohrer

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Matt Rohrer is pleased to be the new principal of Zela Davis STEM PREP for the 2018-2019 school year. He attended University of Southern California, where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Arts and Sciences. Additionally, he has a Masters Degree from National University specializing in Cross-Cultural Teaching and a Masters Degree from University of Southern California in School Leadership.

Mr. Rohrer has been in education for 21 years and has held positions as Administrator, Dean of Students, English Learner Special Projects Teacher and classroom teacher. He is proud to support Zela Davis’ STEM focus. Zela Davis understands the importance of early technology literacy; therefore, students in 3rd-5th grade have 1:1 Chromebook ratio in all classrooms. Using technology at an early age develops skills that are vital for college and career.

Mr. Rohrer will work hard to continue to support the award-winning atmosphere of the school. Zela Davis was awarded Gold Ribbon status by the California Department of Education in 2015, was recognized as The California Project Lead the Way School of the Year in 2016 and received the Follet Challenge People’s Choice Award in 2017.

Bud Carson
Middle School

LaTima Jones
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LaTima Jones began her fifth year as the principal at Kornblum Elementary School. Under her leadership, Kornblum received the prestigious honor of being named a Gold Ribbon School for parent involvement and The Title I Academic Achievement Award by the State of California in the 2016.  She leading Kornblum School in integrating STEM through Project Lead the Way into the curriculum and events this school year. 

She has been an employee of the Hawthorne School District since 1997 as an elementary teacher, literacy coach, and assistant principal at the elementary and middle school levels.

Ms. Jones graduated from the University of Southern California (USC) in 1995 with a degree in psychology. She earned her teaching credential through Chapman University and attended Pepperdine University to complete her master’s degree.

Ms. Jones was a student-athlete throughout her years at USC, earning the Scholar Athlete Award of Honor for Academic Excellence, as receiving a solid education was her primary goal. She earned All-American honors in track and field, was a Pac-10 Conference champion, and qualified for the 1996 Olympic Trials. She uses these experiences to connect with students. She stresses that education is the foundation on which they will build all of their future success. 


Middle School

Akila Jones

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Akila Jones has been with the Hawthorne School District for nearly 19 years. She began in 1999 as a substitute teacher working throughout the district in various elementary schools. Her first teaching position was in 2000 teaching first grade at Eucalyptus Elementary. She later moved to Hawthorne Middle School where she has held three positions: Special Projects Teacher (2006), Assistant Principal (2014) and currently as Principal.  This will be her first year as the principal of Hawthorne Middle School.

Ms. Jones is excited about this school year! She is confident that students will continue to thrive as they are being challenged through rigorous academic programs while gaining exposure to enriching sports, music and theatrical activities. She is ready to continue working with students, parents, teachers and the community in a manner which supports academic success for all students.

For fun, Ms. Jones enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, camping and visiting national parks.  Ms. Jones has two children ages 23 and 20 who are both in college. She also enjoys spending time with her two dogs, Maui, 3 and Ace, 1. Ms. Jones also has a large frog collection consisting of figurines, bears, stickers and other unique items; stop by her office to see!

Prairie Vista
Middle School

Wendy Ostensen
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Wendy Ostensen is excited to be the principal of Prairie Vista Middle School, Home of the Panthers. She has been in the field of education for 27 years. During this time she has been a science teacher, activity director, middle school site administrator, and elementary school site administrator. She is proud to have worked in the Hawthorne School District for her entire educational career, and she is an honored recipient of HSD Leadership Awards in 2007 and 2018. Ms. Ostensen earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology from California State University, Long Beach and her Master’s Degree/ Administrative Credential from California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Ms. Ostensen grew up in southern California and resides in Hawthorne, “The City of Good Neighbors.” Her two sons are former HSD students, so she also approaches the job from a Hawthorne parent’s point of view. She is excited to continue collaboration with the dedicated PVMS staff to continue the focus on academic standards in order to prepare students for success in college and career readiness.  Ms. Ostensen is also looking forward to working with PVMS’ students and parents in order to improve and enrich student achievement. Ms. Ostensen embraces the school’s fine arts academy which showcases students’ wonderful talents in art, music, theatre, and dance.  

Hawthorne Math & Science Academy

Esau Berumen
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Principal Esau Berumen has been member of the Hawthorne School District family since 1997. He began his career as a long term substitute teacher at York Elementary School. After one month as a substitute teacher, he became the 7th Grade Life Science teacher at Hawthorne Intermediate School, which is now known as Hawthorne Middle School.

In 2003, Mr. Berumen applied for and became the first Biology teacher at the soon to be open Hawthorne Math & Science Academy, HMSA. He is one of the six HMSA founding teachers. As the school grew, he became the Science Department Chair and the school’s College Prep Advisor.  During his last year of teaching Biology at HMSA, he received the school’s Teacher of the Year award.  In 2007, Mr. Berumen became the assistant principal of HMSA, and in 2010 he became HMSA’s third principal. In 2016, Mr. Berumen was awarded the Hawthorne School District's Roger G. Bly Leadership Award. During his tenure, HMSA has been awarded the National Blue Ribbon Award twice, 2010 and 2016.

Mr. Berumen earned his Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Occidental College.  He earned both his teaching credential and his first Master’s degree in Cross Cultural Education from National University.  In 2004, he went back to school to earn both his administrative credential and second Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from California State University Northridge. In 2012, Occidental College’s Alumni Association awarded him the Young Alumni Seal Award. Recently, Occidental College’s Alumni Association awarded Mr. Berumen the 2017 Alumni Seal Award for Professional Achievement.

Mr. Berumen has been married for 15 years and is father to three children. Two of his children will be attending schools in the Hawthorne School District this coming year. In his free time, he enjoys being with his family, reading books, and watching an occasional game of rugby.

Prairie Vista

Jennifer Beekman
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This is Jennifer Beekman’s thirty sixth year as an educator in the Hawthorne School District. During that time, she taught eleven years at Hawthorne Intermediate, Zela Davis and Williams Schools. She has been an administrator for twenty four years at Zela Davis, Prairie Vista Middle, Kornblum and York Schools. She is currently the Preschool Programs Coordinator.

Ms. Beekman grew up in the Central Valley and attended Clovis High School. She graduated from California State University, Fresno with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies. Ms. Beekman obtained her Master of Arts Degree in Education Administration at California State University, Dominquez Hills.  

Throughout her career, she has had the opportunity to meet many wonderful families in the Hawthorne School District. It is amazing that so many of our former students return with their own children.  Ms. Beekman enjoys maintaining the valuable connections with the community and alumni and truly appreciates those who have come back to volunteer

Special Education
Cathy Williams

Cathy Williams, Principal
Coming soon