Assistant Principal - 9th Grade
Terrance Christianson began his career in education 15 years ago, while in college (Go Oregon ducks!), designing/obtaining funds for programs serving adjudicated youth, underprivileged students, and underserved populations. Terrance utilized his skill set once moving to Oakland, while building his networks in order to assure that each one of his students was served just as equally as the most privileged. Working at Hillside Academy(counseling enriched site) in Oakland was an eye opener and career builder, in order to set the strong foundations of Multi Tiered Systems of support for students. Terrance is trained heavily in Restorative Practices, Response to Intervention, and Youth empowerment. From working in Oakland at Hillside Academy to transitioning to Roots Middle School, and then to Phillips Academy (Non Public School), and the last 4 years at Berkeley High School, Terrance’s mission remains the same which is to empower ALL students to determine their futures. Terrance is driven by a desire to show that all students are capable of achieving, and has worked intentionally to align student supports with instructional priorities, leverage community assets and human resources in support of student success.
Terrance received his Undergraduate degree from the University of Oregon, as well as a Masters of Arts in School counseling with PPSC credential from Brandman, and a Masters of Arts in Educational Leadership/Administration with Preliminary credential from Brandman University.
Assistant Principal - 10th Grade
Hello everyone! My name is Danee Black and I am so excited to join your team as the Youth Intervention Specialist (YIS). I am originally from Sacramento (Rancho Cordova) but I fell in loveThe Bay Area over 15 years ago and never looked back. I earned a B.A in Liberal Studies and Black Studies from San Francisco State University and a Master’s in Special Education from Alliant University. I was a teacher for ten years at Seneca Family of agencies in a non-public school (High school English and Middle School). For the last 3 years, I have been supporting schools in Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) with instructional and behavioral coaching, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) and Climate and culture development. Also, I am an artist, poet and self care advocate. Last year, I published a therapeutic coloring book called “What’s In Your Heart?” to support teens and adults with wellness and self expression. I come from a big track & field family. I bring love, joy and dedication everywhere I go. I am most passionate about mindfulness and teaching students how to connect with themselves and others in healthy and positive ways. I have created sensory regulation rooms and calming spaces to promote peace, connection and well-being. I believe that deep down we all just want to be seen, heard and to belong. Last but not least,I love tacos, rom-coms and anything Beyonce!
Assistant Principal - 12 Grade
Born and raised in the Ashland District of San Leandro, I attended all SLZUSD schools. I received my A.A. from Chabot College and later graduated from Cal. State Hayward with a B.A. in Sociology 2004. I later received my Teaching Credential, Masters Degree, and Admin. Credential from CSUEB. I came into education from corporate management at PEPSICO and realized my true calling was for the youth. Throughout my career I have worked with many at risk youth by way of Coaching/Mentoring, Group Home Counseling at Lincoln Child Center, and at Alameda County’s Juvenile Hall. I have worked in various capacities within HUSD for 7 years. I have taught Elementary, GED, and ESL students for all of that time. I have also served on SSC, SBDM, ILT, and FRA/HEA committees throughout my time in education and look forward to serving the community at Mt. Eden.
Youth Intervention Specialist - 11th Grade
With a distinguished two-decade career that spans the educational spectrum, from kindergarten to community college, Marissa Pienaar, M.Ed., is a seasoned educator and visionary leader. Her journey has comprised many experiences, taking her from dynamic classrooms in Oakland to the heart of Namibia, where she served as a dedicated Peace Corps education and community volunteer. It was in these diverse settings that Marissa gained a profound appreciation for cultural humility and the fundamental importance of fostering a sense of belonging within education.
Throughout her career, Marissa held pivotal leadership roles, including, Lead Teacher, Vice Principal and Curriculum Director. In these positions, she honed her expertise in crafting and implementing innovative educational strategies, cultivating culturally responsive learning environments, and guiding teams toward excellence.