New Vice Principal

Leslie Heller is thrilled that her job promotion lets her stay in the town where her career has blossomed for more than a decade.

"I've been a part of the Pleasanton community for the past 14 years," Heller said. "I feel very comfortable here. I'm very proud of the teachers and the schools."

Heller, 40, has been an English teacher at Amador Valley High School for the past 14 years. She also served as head of that school's English department.

"I am really excited to work at Foothill and be a Falcon," she said. "I'm excited to meet a whole new group of teachers and staff and help them move forward with their educational goals for the next year."

Heller replaces Lori Vella, who was transferred to a vice principal job at Amador.

While Heller enjoyed her years at Amador, she considers a fresh start at Foothill in an administrative role a good move.

"It’s a little bit easier sometimes to be an administrator at a site where you weren’t a teacher," she noted. "You’re forming new relationships and accepting new responsibilities at a different school site.

I hope to create an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect and to help teachers fulfill their goals in the classroom. I also want to help the school fulfill its goals and objectives toward educating 21st-century learners."

Heller was born in San Francisco and grew up in San Rafael. She got her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Davis and got her master's degree at Sacramento State University. She worked four years at River City High School in west Sacramento before moving to Pleasanton. She taught English, remedial reading and English as a second language classes. She also coached swimming and was an interim high school vice principal. She helped develop and lead a successful high school summer school program.

At Amador, Heller served as the Every 15 Minutes coordinator, was a Western Association of Schools & Colleges focus group leader and was leader of Amador's site equity team. She has served as vice principal of the district's 7-12 summer school program, was an all-district writing committee member and was a member of the district equity committee.

Heller is an avid runner who enjoys half marathons and likes spending time with Asics, her 125-pound Great Dane-weimaraner dog.

"Because I’ve been a part of the Pleasanton community for a really long time, I feel I understand parents' objectives about what they want out of their schools," Heller said. "I’ve had many conversations with students and parents over the years about how to make the classroom a more cohesive and obtainable place for students to be successful."