Moreau President Terry Lee announced today the appointment of Dr. Elizabeth Guneratne as Moreau's Interim Principal, effective July 1, 2018. She succeeds Principal Lisa Tortorich, who announced her retirement earlier this school year.
"With her vast experience and gifts of leadership and passion for Catholic education, Liz will be a wonderful leader and educator for our Mariner community," said Terry Lee, Moreau's President. "I look forward to partnering with her as we form and transform the lives of young people in the Holy Cross tradition."
A passionate Catholic educator, Dr. Guneratne has focused her career on research, leadership, teaching and service, and hopes to bring these skills to Moreau, where she has served on the board of trustees for the past two years.
"Moreau Catholic High School is an incredibly special place, and I am honored to continue the tradition of strong, innovative, and faith-filled leadership here," said Dr. Guneratne. "I am excited to get to know each member of our community and partner with our phenomenal educators to continue to cultivate the hearts and minds of today's young leaders."
Dr. Guneratne has been a leader in educational transformation on a local and systemic level for the past 17 years, focusing on educational leadership and systemic reform to transform schools and sustain learning communities of excellence and equality.
Specifically, her research explores the adoption of educational technology as an instrument to strengthen teaching and learning; the connection or gap between system initiatives and classroom practice; innovative professional learning experiences to empower high school teachers to engage in climate justice and sustainability efforts; and how school leaders balance the technical, normative and political demands of technology-related reform.
Based in part on her expertise in the area of system change, Dr. Guneratne has served this past year as the project lead and Diocesan Liaison for Lumen Christi Academies, the new Catholic schools network in the Diocese of Oakland. Currently, she is a faculty member in Educational Leadership at Santa Clara University and the Director of Catholic School Partnerships.
Before joining the faculty at Santa Clara University in 2015, Dr. Guneratne served for four years as an associate superintendent and WCEA/WASC accreditation commissioner for the secondary and elementary schools in the Diocese of Oakland. Locally, she has been the principal at St. John Catholic School in San Lorenzo and the special needs director for St. Elizabeth Elementary School in Oakland. She has also been a high school classroom teacher.
At Santa Clara University, she founded the Reflective Innovation for Sustainability and Knowledge (RISK) Summer Institute, a collaborative professional learning experience for high school teachers and university faculty. She is an advisory board member for the Leadership for Educational Equity Program at the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Education. She has been a guest lecturer, keynote speaker and panelist at various educational and leadership conferences and has published numerous articles.
Besides serving on the Moreau Catholic Board of Trustees, she also has served on task forces and as a committee member for the Diocese of San Jose and the Diocese of Oakland, a volunteer for St. Vincent De Paul Society and as a board member for Golden Gate Boys Choir.
Dr. Guneratne earned her B.A. degree in English and Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. She has a master's degree in Organization and Leadership from the University of San Francisco, and she earned her Ed.D. in the Leadership and Educational Equity Program at the University of California, Berkeley.