Wednesday May 04 2011
Makis now the lead Bulldog on campus
By: Lauren Gibbs, special to the Placer Herald
Teacher named new principal of Rocklin Elementary
A new head Bulldog will take over Rocklin Elementary next year. Amanda Makis, currently a fourth-grade teacher at Rocklin Elementary and the service learning coordinator for the district, was named principal of the school, starting July 1. Makis will replace Jim Trimble, who has been splitting his time between Rocklin and Sunset Ranch elementary schools. Trimble will become principal full-time at Sunset Ranch Elementary next year. An eight-year veteran of Rocklin Unified School District, Makis said she has stepped up this year to fill in while Trimble is serving Sunset Ranch students, so she’s no stranger to the responsibilities of being in change. Makis will oversee 18 teachers, about 500 students and the school’s office staff. “The staff is an amazing staff,” Makis said. “I’m eager to lead and work collaboratively. It’s a family here.” Her family at home is also supportive of her decision, she said, which includes her husband, Steve, and two children, daughter Madelyn and 3-year-old son Dylan. Her son is too young to understand his mother’s new role, but Madelyn, who is a kindergartner at Ruhkala Elementary School, does. “She equates me to Mrs. (Melody) Thorson (principal of Ruhkala Elementary) — to her I’m a Mrs. Thorson,” Makis said. Backed by her family’s support, Makis said there are a few goals she has for Rocklin Elementary. “To continue to build on all of the successes that have already been in place here,” is her No. 1 goal, she said. She also plans to garner support from the team to ensure student success both academically and socially. While becoming principal means leaving her spot as district service learning coordinator, Makis said she does plan to keep service learning alive at her school site. She has been encouraging service learning at Rocklin schools for four years now, assisting with projects such as students donating shoes for people in Japan, high school students helping schools in Africa and other projects. Makis was recently honored by the Association of California School Administrators for Teachers Who Make a Difference for Placer County, nominated by staff members. Makis graduated from University of California, Santa Barbara and earned her masters in administration from Chapman University. Becoming a principal wasn’t something Makis knew was in her future, but being a leader is something that comes naturally to her. “I think I just felt very comfortable taking on leadership roles here at the site,” she said. Being able to help more students — hundreds more than her fourth-grade students — is what Makis said she is most excited about. “I have the possibility of positively affecting 500 kids,” she said.