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Check out the latest Buena Park School District news here!

New Gordon H. Beatty Middle School Principal to Focus on Aspirations, Personal Growth
Raymond Mendoza

Gordon H. Beatty Middle School’s new principal, Joaquin Valdez, lives to inspire his students – helping them turn turmoil into positivity and prepare themselves for college.

“Adversity is something that many of us experience and the ability to see the brighter side of things or the opportunity to see the glass as half full allows us to keep moving forward,” Valdez said. “The ability to trust that things will get better no matter how hard or difficult of a situation you are experiencing is what keeps me moving forward.”

Principal Valdez started his 17-year educational career as a counselor, encouraging students to think about their futures and careers. He has served as an academic counselor and a California High School Exit Exam counselor before becoming an assistant principal.

Valdez said what drew him to Buena Park School District is how its unique Pathway Programs are teaching students about robotics, multimedia, visual and performing arts, engineering and more to prepare them for college.

Beyond boosting academics, Valdez will focus on social-emotional learning to find new ways to mitigate student stress, while also building new relationships through positive behavioral interventions and support.

Principal Valdez has a Bachelor of Science in human services in mental health from California State University, Fullerton with a second major in Chicano studies, an administrative credential from California State University, Dominguez Hills, a master’s degree in counseling (school counseling and pupil personnel services credential) from California State University, Long Beach and a doctorate in educational leadership in higher education from USC. 

“Principal Valdez is an amazing educator and I know his supportive and encouraging background is going to fit right in at Beatty Middle School,” Superintendent Dr. Ramon Miramontes said. “I know our community is going to respond well to his personable style and formidable leadership skills.”


VALDEZ1: Gordon H. Beatty Middle School’s new principal, Joaquin Valdez.

  • Beatty Middle
  • Buena Park School District
  • District Office
Buena Park School District Welcomes New Emery School Principal
Raymond Mendoza

Longtime educator Jeselle Mata has been selected as Charles G. Emery Elementary School's new principal, bringing 17 years of educational experience to the role and eagerness to build connections and foster a culture of success for all students.

Principal Mata has taught various grade levels including in public and private schools for South Whittier School District, Los Angeles Unified School District and the Los Angeles Archdiocese. Mata said her daily inspiration lies in providing a brighter future for young students.

“What excites me about Buena Park School District is the commitment to students,” Mata said. “The District is centered on educating the whole child and supporting students in discovering their strengths as future leaders.”

Principal Mata is trained in a variety of areas including Advancement Via Individual Determination to boost college readiness, Write from the Beginning for English language arts improvement, Cognitively Guided Instruction for student-centered math teaching, and Capturing Kids’ Hearts for educator training and professional development in social-emotional learning.

“My focus as a school leader is to collaborate with parents, teachers, and staff to improve our school, our classrooms, and our students' learning,” Mata said. “My main goal for my first year is to connect with the community: building a bridge between home and school so that all families feel welcomed and supported at Emery.”

Principal Mata has a Bachelor of Arts in broadcast journalism from California State University, Los Angeles, an administrative credential from Cal Poly Pomona, and a master’s degree in education and multiple subject teaching credential from Loyola Marymount University.

When she is not working hard at leading Emery School, Principal Mata enjoys visiting Disneyland with her husband and three children.

“We are all so excited to welcome Principal Mata to the Buena Park School District community,” Superintendent Dr. Ramon Miramontes said. “We know her extensive experience, positive attitude and fantastic goals will fit Emery’s atmosphere of success.”


PRINCIPALMATA1: Charles G. Emery Elementary School’s New Principal: Jeselle Mata

  • Buena Park School District
  • District
  • Emery
Student picture
Raymond Mendoza

Buena Park School District is providing more than 200 students with additional support in math, reading, English Language Development, and college and career readiness through its Summer Academy.

The academy, which runs through July 14 at Charles G. Emery Elementary School and Gordon H. Beatty Middle School, provides incoming first through eighth-graders with more opportunities to continue academic excellence while also having fun.

Each day, both schools’ programs provide additional assistance to the District’s English Language Learners with targeted instruction to increase reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. Students are also learning how to use a variety of apps from the District’s Apple Coaches to incorporate music, art, and skills to help with college and career readiness.

Each Wednesday, students are encouraged to participate in Spirit Wednesday and dress according to various themes, such as “Our Futures are So Bright” and “We are College Bound.” Students are also given Mindful Minutes, and nutrition breaks to ensure they stay healthy.

Incoming fourth-grader Clay H. said his favorite aspect of the Summer Academy is learning how to play different musical instruments with GarageBand – a computer program he is learning thanks to the school’s Apple Coaches.

“Our Summer Academy is a fantastic way for students to continue their academic excellence while helping others prepare for the coming school year,” Superintendent Dr. Ramon Miramontes said. “Summer Academy is just one of the many ways Buena Park School District builds strong foundations for our students while also preparing them for high school, college, and beyond.”


Student picture

SUMMER1: Incoming fourth-grader Clay H. learns to play the erhu, a two-stringed Chinese bowed instrument, on his iPad through GarageBand during Buena Park School District’s Summer Academy.

SUMMER2: Incoming first-grader Scarlett P. works on her English language arts skills during Buena Park School District’s Summer Academy.

  • Beatty Middle
  • District Office
  • Emery