Pasadena Unified School District Superintendent Brian McDonald named Nicole Ann Duquette as principal of McKinley School and Noemi Orduña as principal of Madison Elementary School, pending Board of Education approval.
“This new team of talented principals brings strong experience as collaborative instructional leaders poised to accelerate innovations that propel students to even greater growth and success,” said Superintendent McDonald. “I’m pleased to welcome Ms. Duquette to PUSD and to promote Ms. Orduña to principal.”
Nicole Ann Duquette is an 18-year educator and former Teacher of the Year, and has served as a high school assistant principal since 2010. She joins PUSD from the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, where she served as assistant principal of curriculum at Los Altos High School since 2016. Previously, she was assistant principal at Sandra Day O’Connor High School and Boulder Creek High School in Phoenix, Arizona, where she expanded student enrollment in college preparatory courses, increased student scores in the Advanced Placement program, and implemented a one-to-one technology initiative.
Named Teacher of the Year for Deer Valley Unified School District in the 2009-2010 school year, she began her teaching career at Westview High School in Arizona in 2002. Ms. Duquette has a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona State University, and Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Journalism from Arizona State University.
“My love for the arts and my deeply-rooted commitment to ensuring that all students are ready to excel in their next steps in life inspire me as the next leader of McKinley School,” said Duquette. “Our school will develop students who not only feel safe and loved, but can also thrive in an innovative learning environment where they feel confident in taking on this great big world around them.”
Noemi Orduña is a proud product of the public education system. A fluent Spanish speaker, her 16-year career as an educator has been guided by her passion for providing students with the same exceptional academic preparation she received from public schools. Mrs. Orduña has served as a district coach in PUSD’s Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Development for the past three years, where she collaborated with individual teachers, teacher teams, and site instructional coaches to improve student achievement through research-based instructional practices. She provided parent groups with information and support in understanding the New State Standards and in partnering with their school to help their children excel academically. Previously, Mrs. Orduña was a math teacher and department chair at Blair School since 2007, and joined PUSD from the Los Angeles Unified School District, where she was a math teacher since 2000. Mrs. Orduña has a Master’s degree in Education, specializing in teaching and learning in a global society, and administrative services and clear credentials from National University. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from California State University, Los Angeles.
“It is an honor to join the James Madison Elementary School family,” said Ms. Orduña. “I am excited to meet and work tirelessly alongside students, parents, staff, and the community to focus on providing all students with tools and opportunities to demonstrate academic excellence. I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for the countless public school teachers who prepared me for college and career.”
Meetings were held with McKinley and Madison staff and parents to solicit input in developing new principal profiles that informed the recruitment and selection process.