Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Sabrina Rodriquez, the newly named principal for the new Matilda Torres High School currently under construction, is surrounded by colleagues and construction officials as she stands in her new office during a tour on Thursday.
Sabrina Rodriquez, veteran school administrator, has been named principal of Madera Unified’s new Matilda Torres High School. Her appointment was announced by Superintendent Todd Lile at Tuesday evening’s meeting of the board of trustees.
“I want to congratulate Sabrina Rodriquez for being selected principal of Matilda Torres High School, said Lile. “I am confident Mrs. Rodriquez will excel in her journey by setting the standard for hard work, creativity, and resiliency with a fearless drive to continuously improve. Judging by the quality school culture at both MLK and Desmond established with her leadership we can expect big things at Torres High School.”
Rodriquez’ elevation to the helm of Matilda Torres High gives women a clean sweep of the principalships in all three of MUSD’s high schools. Robyn Cosgrove is the principal of Madera High School, and Aimee Anderson is the principal of Madera South High School.
When Lile introduced Rodriquez at Tuesday’s meeting, her excitement was palpable as she expressed her gratitude to the board for selecting her to fill the district’s most visible administrative vacancy.
Rodriquez has earned the reputation for being able to remain calm in a crisis and for keeping the ship on course during turbulent times. Her professional apologia is “self-efficacy,” the confidence in one’s ability to do the job. In this manner, she puts the district’s motto, “We Believe,” on a personal level.
Rodriquez began her career in education in 2003 at Hilmar High School where she taught English and served as advisor for the school newspaper and the yearbook. During that year, she also completed work with Chico State for her teaching credential.
In August 2004, Liberty High in the Ranchos almost signed her up, but they didn’t move quite fast enough. Ron Pisk got there first and put her to work as an English teacher at Madera High; North Campus. The next year Rodriquez, attracted by the lure of helping to open a brand new school. went to Desmond Middle School.
At Desmond, she taught English Language Arts. After hours, she served on several councils, coached basketball and volleyball, served as activities director, advisor for the student council, served as GATE coordinator, finished her Master’s in Education Administration, and was named named Desmond Teacher of the Year for the 2006-2007 school year.
In 2008, Rodriquez accepted the job of vice principal of Berenda Elementary School and began work on a doctorate at CSU, Fresno. Two years later, she moved to Thomas Jefferson as vice principal and continued her work in her educational doctorate program at Fresno State.
In 2011, Rodriquez got the opportunity she had been working toward. She was made principal of Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School where she took on the full range of administrative responsibilities of a principal. With two years as an elementary school vice principal and a year as a middle school vice principal, Rodriquez, armed with her philosophy of “self-efficacy,” was ready to take the helm.
Rodriquez served as principal of MLK for seven years. During that time, she also finished her course work for her doctorate, was advanced to candidacy, and began preparation to defend her dissertation.
With the departure of Prince Marshall as principal of Desmond Middle School, Rodriquez replaced him in June 2018. She had just begun her second year at Desmond when the opportunity to open Madera’s brand new, state-of-the-art high school availed itself.
Matilda Torres High School is scheduled to open in August 2020, but district officials have not announced when they will move Rodriquez to the new campus. In the meantime, she will remain at Desmond. In an interview with The Tribune, Rodriquez said until she is moved, her focus will be on her commitment to the Desmond school community: students, teachers, and parents. In the meantime, she cannot hide her excitement over next year’s assignment.