Principal's Message


Dear La Madera Families,

I am honored to serve as the Principal of La Madera Elementary School in Lake Forest, CA, home of the Koalas.  I began my teaching career 23 years ago as an elementary school teacher with Glendale Unified School District.  Relocating to Orange County, I came to SVUSD to teach First and Third grade at Foothill Ranch Elementary.  During my time with SVUSD I have taught Kindergarten, First, and Third Grade at Melinda Heights, Santiago, Lake Forest and de Portola.  I began my administrative career in SVUSD as the Assistant Principal at Melinda Heights Elementary and Foothill Ranch Elementary.  I served as the Interim Principal at La Madera Elementary School during the 2019-2020 school year. 

I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and a Master of Arts in Education, Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, and Administrative Credential from Azusa Pacific University

La Madera is a beautiful school nestled in the eucalyptus groves of Lake Forest, CA. Whenever anyone visits La Madera, they always comment on the great energy on our campus, the friendly staff, and respectful students. In addition to being a place where people feel welcome, La Madera is also known for its academic excellence. La Madera is one of five GATE Magnet Schools in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District. All students and teachers are encouraged to be innovators, and to take risks and grow together as a community of learners!

La Madera is truly a neighborhood school; many parents of current Koalas attended La Madera themselves. At La Madera our focus is Every Koala, Every Day!  We hope you will consider joining our Koala Family.  


Jennifer Gass, Principal