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SSD welcomes New Faces in Administrator roles


The 2022-2023 school year brings a new principal and new assistant principals to SMS, Lakewood, and Ellis!



This year we welcome Vince Iwasaki as the new Principal of Sunnyvale Middle School. He joins the District as an experienced educational leader from the Alum Rock Elementary School District with over 10 years of site administrative experience. Previously the Principal of Renaissance Academy at Mathson, Vince has served as the Principal and Assistant Principal in Alum Rock and also possesses eight years of middle school teaching experience in math and science. Vince received his teaching credential and Master’s in Educational Leadership from San Jose State and earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.

Vince replaces Interim Principal Jane Chen who will be shifting to a role in the Instruction Department as an Assistant Principal on Special Assignment at the District Office supporting math and science. Thank you to Jane for her four years of service as a site administrator at Sunnyvale Middle School, especially for her leadership in guiding the school this past year!




Giovanni Bui is an assistant principal at Sunnyvale Middle School. He has over 15 years of educational experience. Most recently he was the Principal of Broadway High School in San Jose. Before that, he was Assistant Principal of John Muir Middle school and a seventh-grade teacher and activities director at Hoover Middle School, in San Jose. He has his M.A. in Educational Leadership and Administrative Credential from San Jose State University.




Lara Burenin joins the Ellis community this year in the role of Assistant Principal.  She is a lifelong educator, passionate about supporting all students to thrive.  She earned her teaching credential and Master of Arts in elementary education through the Stanford Teacher Education Program, and her administrative services credential and Master of Education in Instructional Leadership through the Reach Institute.  She has been in education for 15 years as an elementary teacher, literacy coach, literacy and English language development coordinator, and director of curriculum and instruction, serving the Oakland and East Palo Alto communities.  Throughout her career, she has brought her passion for literacy, language development, and educational equity to each role she’s held.

Lara is a Bay Area native and lives on the peninsula with her husband and two children, Lucas and Liana, where they love to ride their bikes, go to the beach, go camping, and enjoy the outdoors.  She looks forward to getting to know the Ellis community this year!


Gerson Sandoval is excited and grateful to join the Lakewood family as the new Assistant Principal. His education career began eleven years ago. He has served as a science teacher, instructional coach, and assistant principal. His passion in science, technology, and mathematics, led him to pursue a Masters in STEM education.

He is eager to support Lakewood’s climate and culture and professional development for teachers. His goal is to ensure that every child is given the opportunity to learn and grow into a well-rounded individual. It is important for him that parents feel welcomed and encouraged to be part of each child’s educational experience.

He is born and raised in the bay area, currently living in Hayward with his wife, Rosalia, and two children, Gerson and Gianna. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling and nature, barbequing, watching sports games, and spending time with his family.

Please help us in welcoming these wonderful administrators into their new roles!

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