The Hillside Happenings-Updated 8/28/2023
Dear Simi Valley Schools Families:
Welcome to the 2023-2024 school year! My favorite day of the school year, our first day of school, is this Thursday, August 10.
We have the most amazing community and I am grateful to serve as your Superintendent of Schools. I want to extend a very warm welcome to our new students and new families. Our mission is to support ALL students to become the best potential versions of themselves. Everything we do circles back to this mission.
Our school district serves and supports every child coming to us by providing safe and welcoming schools in which all students can learn; offering excellent instruction in all of their subject areas and levels; making sure all students are seen and cared for; and surrounding our students with the resources to support their engaged participation in their educational experiences.
Education is a partnership. My experience tells me that to advance and make improvements in student achievement, we must function in partnership with our families and our community. Students do not succeed on their own; their success is never accidental, or a matter of chance. Student success comes when we provide high-quality educational opportunities, in and out of the classroom. We will only succeed when we – all of the shareholders in our community (students, staff, families and neighbors) – work together as partners to continually make students our number one priority. Only then can we produce superior results at every level with our students.
Simi Valley Schools continues to be a leader in education in many areas across our county, state, and nation. Getting here is credited to the hard work of all shareholders coming together. Our schools provide our students with amazing places to learn and grow because of our collective efforts to ensure student connectedness and prosperity. If past performance is an indicator of future performance, we can expect more great things to come for our schools and students.
My core values of integrity, accountability, relationship-building, and creativity allow me to lead with passion and purpose. I know that I am not alone on this journey. Staff members and I are here and ready to serve our students, our schools, our families and our community. I realize that I am surrounded by a superior level of excellence every day, and that our students get to benefit fully from the professionalism, innovation, and compassion our staff gives to each of them.
To celebrate one of the best days of the school year, we are once again asking willing families to post their first day of school pictures to the social media of your choice with the hashtag #SimiValleySchoolsFirstDay2023
Lastly, I would like to once again share our promotional video highlighting what makes Simi Valley Schools amazing. I know we have new students and new families joining our district this year. Please use this link https://youtu.be/DqvhpYJDiJk to view >From Here to Anywhere.
I cannot wait for the amazing year to come in Simi Valley Schools! I am confident this school year will be another exciting and successful one! I look forward to all of us working together to support all students to become the best potential version of themselves.
From Here to Anywhere,
Dr. Hani Youssef
On June 13, 2023, the SVUSD Board of Trustees approved the following new hires and promotions. Please join us in welcoming and congratulating the following employees.
Dr. Jamie Snodgrass
Assistant Superintendent of Instruction and Pupil Services
Educational Services, District Office
Mrs. Snodgrass is a product of Simi Valley Schools. She attended Vista Elementary School, Hillside Middle School and graduated from Royal High School.
Dr. Snodgrass earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from California State University-Northridge, and her Doctorate in Educational Leadership at California Lutheran University.
In 2004, Dr. Snodgrass came to the SVUSD to teach History and Social Sciences at Royal High School. She then served as a Teacher on Special Assignment for English/Language Arts at the District office, before being named Principal of Katherine Elementary School in 2014. In 2017, Mrs. Snodgrass returned to the District Office when she was promoted to Coordinator of Curriculum and Assessment, and then was named Director of Instruction and Pupil Services in 2020. Dr. Snodgrass’ promotion to this new Assistant Superintendent position eliminates the Director position; it will not be filled.
“Education is the greatest gift and pathway for our children to determine and accomplish their goals,” she said. “In the last five years, our district has pushed for a stronger emphasis on cohesive instructional practices—how we collaborate with each other to better our teaching skills, and in turn, increase student achievement. With this emphasis, we bring our school sites, educators, and administrators together to serve the common mission of our district, to create an educational environment where every student has the best opportunities to become the best potential versions of themselves academically, socially, and emotionally. This new position supports a greater focus on and the resources needed to help achieve our goals as educators.”
Dr. Snodgrass is married and she and her husband have two daughters at Royal High School.
Assistant Superintendent of Personnel Services
Mrs. Julie Ellis has worked in education for 29 years. A graduate of Simi Valley Schools, she started in the Simi Valley Unified School District in 1991. She was hired as a permanent elementary teacher in 1994 and taught at Madera Elementary School. While there, she served as Girls’ Volleyball coach for Simi Valley High School and was the co-sponsor of the Sinaloa Drama Club. In 1998 she transferred to Wood Ranch Elementary where she stayed until being named Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) in 2014. In 2015, Mrs. Ellis became Principal at Vista Elementary School. Mrs. Ellis was named the SVUSD Director of Elementary Education in 2018, and then in 2022, she was named the Director of Personnel, a position which will now dissolve with Mrs. Ellis’ promotion to Assistant Superintendent.
She earned her Bachelor’s degree from California State University-Northridge (CSUN), her administrative credential from California Lutheran University, and her Master’s degree from CSUN.
“Throughout my career, I have dedicated myself to supporting students, teachers, and staff,” she said. “As I step into this new role in Personnel Services, I will continue to focus my efforts on supporting the development of our Classified and Certificated employees. The heart and soul of any school district are the people that dedicate themselves to the work of educating children. I firmly believe that in order to support all students with becoming the best potential version of themselves, we are called to support our employees to reach their potential in the roles that they serve.”
Mrs. Ellis has two children (one a recent graduate and the other a junior, both from Simi Valley High School) and is married to Mr. Dustin Ellis, also a teacher for the SVUSD. She is an avid athlete who went through CSUN on a basketball scholarship. She also plays volleyball and competes in marathons.
Royal High School
Mrs. Jordan Hoffman comes to us from the Las Virgenes Unified School District, where she has taught middle school math since 2015. Mrs. Hoffman earned her Bachelor’s degree from Scripps College and her Master’s degree from the University of Southern California. She has just completed Preliminary Administrative Services Credential through Center EdX.
While Mrs. Hoffman is new to Simi Valley Schools, both of her younger sisters graduated from high school here, one at Simi Valley High School and the other at Santa Susana High School. Her husband is also a Simi Valley High School graduate.
Mrs. Hoffman came to education from her love of children of any age. She hopes to become a positive influence for the staff and students at Royal High School.
“Growing up, I worked nearly every summer as either a babysitter, a lifeguard, a camp counselor, an art teacher’s assistant, a tutor, etc. Helping kids learn and develop skills to help them thrive has always been a passion of mine,” she said.
She has been married for 10 years, and together they have a toddler, three cats, and a dog (all rescues).
“My daughter is two going on 13 and would live at the park if I let her,” she said.
In her free time, she loves cooking and baking, and Friday game night with her husband and friends.
“I likely drink an unhealthy amount of coffee but I blame that on my Seattle upbringing,” she joked. “Most importantly, my biggest passion is watching my daughter experience the joy of learning through the endless adventures we have together,” she said.
Sinaloa Middle School
Mrs. Corine Musgrove has a diverse educational and experiential background. After getting her Bachelor’s degree in Communications and English from Washington State University, she worked in strategic marketing for 12 years. Then September 11, 2001 came, and her priorities changed.
“As a lifelong learner and perpetual student, I knew I wanted to join the world of education because I believe in the power of education to lift up whole communities,” she said. “I love engaging with students and helping them to feel safe and confident at school so that they can learn important skills and knowledge and be successful in college and their career.”
Mrs. Musgove obtained her first Master’s degree, an Master’s in Business Administration, from California Lutheran University. She earned her Master’s in Anthropology from University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB), and then her Master’s in Education from National University. She just completed her Preliminary Administrative Services Credential through Center EdX.
She began teaching at UCSB, then at the Ventura County Office of Education, the Las Virgenes Unified School District, and she currently teaches for the Conejo Unified School District.
Her leadership style is grounded in community-building, transparent communication, empathy, and a deep commitment to social justice.
“I am very excited to continue my work (at Sinaloa Middle School) in promoting equity and inclusion in the education community,” she said. “I am dedicated to creating safe, inclusive and equitable learning environments for students of all backgrounds and abilities.”
Besides being an avid reader and photographer, Mrs. Musgrove said her favorite passion is travel.
“I love going to new places and learning about different people, history, and cultures that exist in our beautiful world,” she said.
She and her husband, a retired California Highway Patrol officer, have two teen sons and two dogs. She lives in Westlake Village.