Tony Newman, Leslie Wilson, and Melissa Satterley are all alumni of Ramona High School who have risen through the ranks at Ramona Consolidated. All three were promoted to new positions during the past academic year.
They recently took a trip down memory lane to share how their school days influenced their decisions to become district employees.
Not all of them were ordinary students.
Former Ramona general manager Tony Newman, who was hired as a supervising assistant human resources manager in January, said he struggled academically as a high school freshman in the mid-1980s.
“I hardly passed my lessons and it was mostly out of laziness, but these teachers and others… refused to give me up and refused to let me give up myself,” Newman said in an email. “They stayed with me and not only encouraged me to keep going, but also taught me skills that would later allow me to excel in my classes for the remainder of my high school years.”
It’s been a big journey, Newman said, from being academically ineligible to play sports to being an educational leader at Ramona High.
Wilson, who became assistant superintendent of education services eight months earlier, was more ambitious from the start. Throughout high school she was active in the ASB, various campus clubs and the Song Team. She also began working for the county food and nutrition office in 1994 as a student worker while a freshman.
“It was my first job, where I made $4.25 an hour,” Wilson said. “My leadership roles during those experiences completely prepared me for my future. I experienced some of the best that Ramona had to offer during my time as a student.”
Satterlee’s Ramona High experiences have been enhanced by her participation in the Automotive and Agriculture/FFA programs. She said that both programs taught her how to help others, work as a team, communicate and work hard. These qualities serve her well in her new job as Assistant Supervisor for Administrative Services.
The three principals have been led into teaching careers by different paths, but they can all recall being positively influenced by their teachers.
Automotive gurus Robert Grace, Michael Jordan and Michael Saavedra were particularly helpful, Satterly said.
“They taught me how to work hard, work honestly, work as a team, and how to be a problem solver,” she said. “They believed in me, motivated me, and I truly believe their education and values helped lead me to where I am today.”
Newman said his teachers helped prepare him for college.
Some of Newman’s inspiring teachers were Caroline Owens, Claire Schneider, Bill Tamburino, and Larry Bringham.
“Each of these teachers showed interest in me and, quite frankly, each of them refused to let me fail despite my best efforts to do so at times,” Newman said. “They knew what I was capable of and they wouldn’t let me perform below that standard.”
Wilson said she learned how to be a mathematician and write well from her teacher, Leanne Plunkett, in the fifth and sixth grades. She said that other influential teachers that Wilson still works with today are Robin Brainard, Mona Snodgrass, Karen Ruffin and Robert Grace.
“They helped me become a strong leader, an advocate for what’s right and a diligent student,” said Wilson. “I am very proud to be a Bulldog, then and always.”
After graduating from Ramona High School in 2000, Satterlee majored in Communications at San Diego State University. Then her work on payroll, accounting, and schoolwork led to her earning an MBA in finance.
The Poway resident went to work at Ramona Unified as a director of financial services in 2018 in part because she says she still calls Ramona home after living in Ramona from seventh through twelfth grade.
“As a graduate of Ramona High School, I want to use my skills and experience to help the students, staff, and community in Ramona,” said Satterly, who was just promoted to Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services on March 15.
Its function now includes planning, developing, organizing, managing, directing, and evaluating internal operations in the areas of accounting, budgeting, facility planning, construction, maintenance, operations, and food and nutrition services.
When Newman went to college, he chose to major in history and Spanish with an emphasis on teaching because he wanted to work in schools. He also chose Spanish because he learned to speak the language while serving a two-year mission in Costa Rica for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1990-1992.
A graduate of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, he began working at Ramona Consolidated in 1996 as a history teacher at Olive Pierce Middle School.
“I applied to Ramona Unified School because I wanted to work in a school district that valued excellence and I wanted to have the opportunity to give back to students the same way my teachers gave me,” Newman said.
In 2001, Newman became the associate director at Olive Pierce before becoming the principal of Ramona High School in 2006. Then, in 2013, he became the assistant director of human resources before returning to the principal of Ramona High School in 2017, most recently returning to the human resources department. Present. position.
“The most rewarding part of these jobs has been the opportunity to work with students in our schools and their families,” Newman said. “Ramona is full of good people and I am lucky to work with them on a daily basis.”
After graduating from Ramona High School in 1997, Wilson earned a degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance at the University of San Diego. Just before graduation, she felt a calling to education, which she said was later reinforced by the 2001 shooting at Santana High School in Santee, which left two people dead and 13 injured.
“I went back to the school to get my teaching credentials in order to make sure all the students knew they had someone in their corner, someone they could count on,” Wilson said in an email. “I rejoined the Ramona Unified School District family in 2001 as a sixth-grade elementary teacher with a strong desire to serve the community in which I grew up.”
Wilson has worked as an educator, teacher on assignment, summer academy director, and curriculum and education coordinator before taking on her current role as Assistant Superintendent of Education Services.
“In all positions, I feel most fulfilled when I’m able to serve, support, and see effective positive change happen in students,” said Wilson. “I have a passion for bringing people together and igniting a love of learning in students, teachers and site leaders.
“I firmly believe that I am here for the purpose of serving our community and in particular those on the school sites because they are the ones doing the hard work on the ground that is so important to our students, their families, and our future.”
Likewise, Satterley said she believes helping students, staff, and the community is the most rewarding aspect of her job.
Newman says he decided to return to human resources because he enjoys interacting with district employees.
“I love being a part of something good, and the work that Ramona Consolidated does on a daily basis with the students is good, it’s really good,” said Newman, whose three children with wife Kristi — Jake, Derek and Carrie — are Ramona High School alumni. and son Chase is young.