Administrator Spotlight

Messages from your GMS Principal and Assistant Principal
Welcome to the 2022-2023 school-year! It is my distinct pleasure to introduce myself as the new Principal at Graves Middle School (GMS). Over the past 20 years, I have had the honor and privilege to serve in various capacities supporting students, families, and communities and am continuously inspired by the resilience, persistence, and tenacity I have witnessed at all my schools. I am prepared to respond to the unique challenges at Graves Middle School and will seize all opportunities to cultivate a culture that inspires students to reach their full potential. 

As a prior Special Education Teacher and Coordinator at Hollenbeck Middle School, I am excited to return to the middle school setting and work alongside you all to provide our students with the best middle school experience possible. Together, we will also ensure that our students leave GMS fully prepared to excel in high school. In addition to working at Hollenbeck Middle School, I have served as a Counselor and Assistant Principal at Garfield High School and Assistant Principal at Nogales High School. All of these experiences have prepared me for the critical role of Principal at GMS. 

I am excited to lead our staff and students into a successful 2022-2023 school year and look forward to meeting our students, parents, and the community of the South Whittier District. 

J. Carlo Marquez
[email protected]
Welcome to another school year, another opportunity to create impact, another year to create change! I am extremely proud to introduce myself as your new Assistant Principal here at Graves Middle School. Joining GMS is an honor, and as a Whittier resident for the past 11 years, I am excited to work and contribute to the community that has given so much to my growing family. Before coming to South Whittier I served school communities in the East, Southeast, and El Sereno areas of Los Angeles with the Los Angeles Unified School District. As a classroom teacher I have taught grades 7-12, and I’ve taken something from every classroom experience that has both humbled and inspired me to empower students. After 14 years of teaching I served as an EL Coordinator and Title I Coordinator to promote student access, success, and community outreach. 

Serving both in and out of the classroom has allowed me to better understand how students, teachers, and families must be supported in order to facilitate a sense of community that drives positive change and supports strong instructional practices. I am dedicated to ensuring that all students receive a quality education, and I understand that supporting teachers is necessary to get there. I am excited to begin this new role and look forward to building community with each of you–learning from one another and supporting the process of student success. 

I am looking forward to a great year of collegial effort and team building! I am so excited to get to know the community  and learn how I can best serve GMS!

In Community,

Amoreena Castaneda