Raul Maldonado was named Superintendent of Schools for the Palmdale School District in May 2014. Previously, he served as Superintendent of the McFarland Unified School District, Kern County. Mr. Maldonado is excited to return to the Palmdale School District where he served as Director of the Biliteracy Department and subsequently as Director of Student Assessment and Accountability.
Mr. Maldonado is well known throughout California as an innovative and inspirational leader. He is experienced in transforming school and district culture and has a proven record of improving student achievement. He sets high expectations, strategically allocates resources, and provides continuous support and multiple opportunities for collaboration, and he holds high expectations for all stakeholders. He believes all students should receive the best educational opportunities utilizing a rigorous curriculum delivered using effective research-based strategies and 21stcentury skills that will prepare students to be successful and to graduate college and be career ready. Recently, Mr. Maldonado has been working on developing “Pathways” by collaborating with high school programs.
Superintendent Maldonado has received many accolades during his illustrious career. He has been the featured speaker and presented in many conferences throughout the state, including Online Assessment Reporting System (OARS), California Association of Bilingual Education (CABE), and California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators (CALSA). He has been recognized by several professional organizations for his leadership and for his work on behalf of the students in California. He has even collaborated with Disney Productions on the filming of “McFarland”, a movie scheduled for release in November and which features an exceptional teacher who goes to extraordinary efforts on behalf of his students in McFarland.
Mr. Maldonado has been an Antelope Valley resident since 1994. He is very involved in the community and enjoys working with community members, parents and students. He has been married to his beautiful wife, Isabel, for 22 years. Together they have four children, two in college and two attending Highland High School. His four children attended elementary school in the Palmdale School District and completed the Dual Language program at Los Amigos School through eighth grade.
Mr. Maldonado received his Bachelor Degree and Master’s Degree from California State University, Los Angeles. He holds a Multiple Subject Credential and a Clear Administrative Services Credential from the same university.
Born and raised in Palmdale, Dr. Stacy Love Bryant, attended Maryott Elementary and Sage Intermediate before graduating from Palmdale High School in 1977. Dr. Bryant earned an Associate of Arts degree from Antelope Valley College, her Bachelor of Arts from Fresno State, and her Master of Science from University of LaVerne. She completed her doctoral studies in Organizational Leadership finishing her dissertation study on student transition from 8thto 9th grade.
Dr. Bryant was hired as a teacher at Palmdale High School in 1985, worked as a guidance counselor at Lancaster HighSchool, served as principal of Highland High School, and finished her 25 year career with AVUHSD as the Director of Student Services. She transitioned to the Palmdale School District July 1, 2010 as Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources. In July, 2011 she was named the District's Chief Leadership Officer.
Dr. Bryant is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Palmdale West and has served as a board member, secretary and president. She sits on the Antelope Valley College Foundation Board and currently serves as president-elect. Dr. Bryant has received many accolades during her twenty-eight year career in education including a Distinguished Service Award and a Special Service Award from the Antelope Valley Union High School District. Additionally, Highland High School was named a California Distinguished School under her principal leadership. Dr. Bryant was inducted into the Palmdale High School Hall of Fame (2008) and Antelope Valley College Whit Carter Hall of Fame (1991). As a student athlete at Antelope Valley College she won the Central California Conference singles tennis championship (1978 & 1979) and the Conference doubles championship (1979) and was named Most Valuable Player both seasons. She coached the only Women's Tennis Championship Team at Antelope Valley College in 1986.
Dr. John Porter is a second generation employee of the Palmdale School District. His mother, the late Carolyn Porter, was a long-time 1st and 2nd grade teacher at Manzanita School. Dr. Porter attended both Manzanita School and Juniper School before being promoted to Palmdale High School, where he was elected freshman class president and later, president of the Associated Student Body.
After high school, Dr. Porter attended Antelope Valley College, before earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Long Beach. For graduate studies, Dr. Porter earned a Master of Arts degree in Special Education from California State University, Northridge. He later earned a Doctorate in Education from the University of Southern California, where he was honored for academic excellence by being inducted as a lifetime member into the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.
Prior to his appointment as Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Porter served the District as a Special Education teacher, A Special Education Program Specialist, an Assistant Principal and Special Education Director.
Dr. Porter is active in the community and serves on the boards of directors for the Palmdale West Kiwanis Club (where he is also Vice President) and the Lancaster Performing Arts Center Foundation. Additionally, he is a lifetime member of the Friends of the Palmdale City Library (and a former director), a member of the Palmdale Sheriffs Boosters and is a former Board of Directors member of the Antelope Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Lastly, Dr. Porter was recognized by the Association of California State Administrators (ACSA) as the 2011 Special Education Administrator of the Year for Region 15. More recently, Dr. Porter was honored in 2012 by being inducted into the Palmdale High School Hall of Fame.
Maria Elena Esquer is currently the Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services in the Palmdale School District. She has served the district for almost 20 years as a teacher at Tumbleweed School, Assistant Principal at both Tamarisk and Yucca, Principal at Los Amigos Dual Immersion School, and parent to four who all were educated in PSD. She has worked extensively in curriculum development and implementation while serving English Language Learners, Standard English Learners, Dual Immersion, Parent Engagement, and Cultural Proficiency. Continuous learning and improvement is always a true focus and an expectation she has of herself and others.
Dr. Frances Ufondu was named the Assistant Superintendent of Business Office for Palmdale School District in July of 2017 after serving as the Interim Chief Business Officer for seven months. Previously, she served as the first Director of LCAP for the District. Before serving as the LCAP Director, she coordinated the State and Federal Programs, Parent/Community Outreach and the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program for the Palmdale School District.
Born and raised in Nigeria, Dr. Ufondu received her Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) and Masters of Arts in Educational Administration from Nigeria. She completed her doctoral studies in Organizational Leadership from University of La Verne, finishing her dissertation in “Skills Required by Principals to Effectively Implement the Public School Accountability Act”.
Dr. Ufondu has been in the district for 25 years. She was hired as a teacher, worked out of the classroom as a Curriculum Resource Teacher before becoming an Assistant Principal. She became the principal of Tamarisk Elementary School and was very instrumental in the implementation of the Comprehensive School Reform Model. Through her educational journey of serving students at all levels and emphasizing access and equity, she practices shared leadership, models high expectations and systems approach to ensure all students are engaged in rigorous learning.
Dr. Ufondu’s duties cut across all departments and schools to ensure increased academic achievement for all students. She worked with all stakeholders to develop the district LCAP and create school environment that improves student engagement and learning. She has very high energy, a drive to get results and the ability to inspire and motivate others. She enjoys creating programs that build student voice and leadership. She led the establishment of PSD Student PROMISE Ambassador Program and the ultimate election of a Student Board Member. Her knowledge about LCFF, budgeting, strategic planning and stakeholder engagement led to her nomination to work with state leaders in designing a template to redesign the State’s Local Control Accountability Plan. She is the Palmdale School District 2016-17 Central Office Leader of the Year.
Dr. Ufondu has been an Antelope Valley resident since 1991. She understands the vast population of students and families within our community and is very active in the community.