Nereyda Gonzalez, Principal
I am extremely excited and honored to have this opportunity to serve as your Principal. I have had a myriad of experiences from my time working in schools, from teacher to counselor to assistant principal. But more importantly are my experiences growing-up and living in this great community.
I was born in Los Angeles but grew up in Perris. After graduating from Perris High School, I went to University of California, San Diego and earned a Bachelor of Arts. in History. I then went on to California State University, Fullerton to earn a teaching credential, soon after I went to Azusa Pacific University to earn a Master's degree in Educational Counseling. I began teaching at Noli Indian School. I then went on to Rancho Verde High School where I was a History teacher, a counselor, and an assistant principal.
I am married to a wonderful and supportive husband, Jose, and we have two beautiful boys, Ethan and Marc.
It is my honor to serve as principal of such a special high school at Citrus Hill! We will continue to work towards our shared purpose ... to be the best high school for our community by providing our students the finest in rigor, school, culture, enrichment, innovation, intervention and preparation.
Matt Elder, Assistant Principal
Hello, my name is Matthew Elder and I’m extremely honored to continue serving the students, parents, staff and community in my role as an Assistant Principal at Citrus Hill High School. I attended California Baptist University as a student athlete where I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in 2003. Upon graduation my wife, Jaclyn (a student athlete and graduate of CBU herself) and I traveled the world while I played professional basketball in Denmark, Australia, and Germany. When we returned to California, I resumed my education at CBU to obtain a Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential in 2006, added a Subject Matter Authorization in Mathematics and earned a Master’s Degree in Education in 2009. My job experiences have given me the opportunity to take on many different roles in both the secondary and elementary educational settings. I started teaching in Alvord USD in 2006 as a Fifth Grade Teacher. I joined Val Verde USD in 2007 as a Math Teacher and Basketball Coach at Citrus Hill High School. My wife and I have two daughters (Aurora and Celeste) who are my support and motivation. My family always inspires me to do my very best in every phase of life. I want to thank all stakeholders for making Citrus Hill High School my home and I look forward to providing our students the best high school for our community.
Tara Kim, Assistant Principal
Hello and welcome to Citrus Hill High School! My name is Tara Kim and it is my pleasure to serve as an assistant principal. I live in the area with my husband, Kenneth and our three children: Lauren, Jacob and Brendan. I am joining the Citrus Hill team with eighteen rewarding years of educational experience. I began my career in 1997, as an elementary teacher for Alvord USD, and later with Hacienda-La Puente USD. I eventually made Val Verde USD home. I have had the privilege of working in Val Verde USD since 2006, first as an English teacher, then as a secondary instructional coach and most recently as an administrator.
It is with great enthusiasm that I re-join the dedicated staff of Citrus Hill! I am looking forward to an exciting year as we work towards graduating ALL students to be college AND career ready.
Thank you for entrusting me to work with your students each day. I am truly honored. Go Hawks!
Krystal Cullivan, Assistant Principal
Pic and Bio coming soon!
Rich Shearer, Athletic Director
Welcome to Citrus Hill High School, where we have a proud tradition of athletic excellence. I am beginning my twelfth year as a high school athletic director, and have served Citrus Hill High School since its opening in 2005. Prior to my tenure as an athletic director, I served eight years as a head high school boys basketball coach and high school history teacher. My wife, Kellee and I both have undergraduate degrees from the University of California Riverside. I also have a M.A. from the University of California, Riverside, and Kellee has one from the California State University at San Bernardino. We have three sons, Brett (16), Jake (13), and Chad (12) who all love school and athletics.
Kevin Johnston, ASB Coordinator
Hello my name is Kevin Johnston and welcome to the Associated Student Body of Citrus Hill High School. I am excited to serve as the director of ASB as I enter my 16th year in education. My career in education began at Cal Baptist where I earned my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Science and my Master of Arts Degree in Cross-Cultural Language and Academic Development. I began teaching at Dartmouth Middle School in Hemet where I served as a social studies teacher, golf coach, and ASB director for 9 years. The past 5 years at Citrus I have taught social studies, served as department chair and a class advisor as well as coached baseball. I have also had the privilege to be a professor at Cal Baptist for the past 11 years. I am married to my beautiful wife Jennifer, a graduate of Cal State San Marcos and teacher/ASB director herself. We have two awesome kids, Scott (13) and Delaney (11) with one on the way. I am blessed for the opportunity to be a part of the leadership at Citrus to serve and support our school and community.
Bill Gerdes, Instructional Coach, ELA
Hello, my name is Bill Gerdes and I am the new Instructional Coach for ELA at Citrus Hill High School. I received my B.A. in English Literature from Cal State San Bernardino in 1999. I later earned my Masters in English Composition and teaching credential from Cal State San Bernardino as well. I was an English teacher at Rancho Verde High School for fifteen years, where I taught a variety of courses including American Studies and AP English Language and Composition. I was also the RV Scholars Coordinator for several years.
I am married and have four wonderful children; three boys and one girl. I enjoy several outdoor activities like hiking, pick-up basketball and skateboarding but I also enjoy watching sports on television! Summer usually finds us in Europe visiting my Scottish wife’s family and seeing sites. I am very excited to be joining the Citrus Hill Leadership Team and I look forward to being a part of such a wonderful staff and school community.
Sem Avena, Instructional Coach, Math
Hi, my name is Sem Avena, the Math Instructional Coach at CitrusHill High School. It has been a privilege to work here since 2006 and look forward to more great years. I grew up in the Coachella Valley and moved to Los Angeles to study at college. I have obtained both my BS in Applied Math and an M.Ed from UCLA. Go Bruins! I spent my first 8 years here teaching math ranging from Math Prep to AP Calculus BC where I am proud to have my students produce amazing results. Prior to teaching in Val Verde USD, I taught at Woodrow Wilson High School in Los Angeles in the LAUSD for 4 years, also teaching all courses from intro Algebra through AP Calculus BC. My teaching experience also includes teaching for the Jaime Escalante Math Program out of East Los Angeles College and Upward Bound out of Cal State LA. Prior to teaching I worked as a Biochemist at BD PharMingen in La Jolla and for MESA out of the UCLA center. Along with being a teacher, I have also served many years as a math department chair, a lead teacher for the Math/Science Small Learning Community at Wilson HS, a softball coach and an assistant band director/drum instructor. I love the time serving the students of my community. I am married to Aileen, a middle school teacher, and have a son, Abram.