Principal's Bio

Dear Foster Elementary School Families and Staff,

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Leah Saunders to the position of Principal at Foster Elementary. Ms. Saunders has been an educator for 35 years and earned her Masters in Education from San Diego State University and her Bachelors from the University of California, Irvine. Ms. Saunders began her teaching career as an elementary teacher at Bancroft, Northmont and Murdock in the La Mesa Spring Valley School District. She also served as an Administrative Intern and BTSA/PAR Support provider for General Education in the La Mesa Spring Valley School District. Most recently she served as Vice Principal at Carlton Hills School in the Santee School District. While serving in these positions, Ms. Saunders demonstrated profound expertise in evidence-based instructional pedagogy, Restorative Practices, social emotional learning, community school partnerships, inclusive delivery models for students with disabilities, and professional learning communities. Ms. Saunders has a passion for learning and exploring innovative approaches to make school a place where students achieve and adults thrive. Ms. Saunders also has extensive experience leading STEAM initiatives which will greatly support Foster Elementary’s Makerspace and expanding STEAM focus. We are thrilled to have the benefit of her extensive experience and leadership at Foster Elementary School. Thank you to everyone who participated in this hiring process by helping to develop the site criteria or by sitting on the Community Interview Panel. Together we found the perfect match for Foster and it is thanks to your support! Ms. Saunders is excited to join Foster Elementary School and is scheduled to officially begin on June 21, 2021. She is looking forward to meeting the Foster students, staff and community.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have questions, concerns, or suggestions at


Monika Hazel Area 4 Superintendent

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