The following is a press release issued by the Ukiah Unified School District:
Ukiah Unified School District is pleased to announce Kita Grinberg as the new principal of Big Picture Ukiah @ South Valley High School, effective July 1, 2023. Kita is currently an Advisor/Teacher at Big Picture Ukiah. She has served as a teacher at the Mendocino County Jail through the Ukiah Adult School and at Mendocino College. Ms. Grinberg holds a B.A. in Latin American History from Brown University. She earned a Single Subject teaching credential in Social Studies and English and a Master’s in Education from Mills College.
“My passion and life’s work is providing alternative options in education for students who have been marginalized by the traditional system. When I moved to Big Picture Ukiah, it felt like coming home, and I am so excited and honored to serve our students, families, and staff in a new capacity,” said Grinberg. “Given all of the trauma our communities experience, schools need to be a place for healing as well as academic growth. The close relationships we develop with our students in our small school environment support them as they explore and discover their own passions and goals. We want them to know they belong and ultimately that they are the ones in charge of their education and life.”
Before moving to Mendocino County, Ms. Grinberg taught for six years at Alternatives in Action, an alternative school in Oakland, where she also served as Assistant Principal. She also taught for four years at Dewey Academy, Oakland Unified’s continuation school. Before that, she taught at the Youth Treatment and Education Center in San Francisco, an alternative to incarceration school.
Ms. Grinberg is devoted to her students, staff, and the Big Picture Ukiah program. “I look forward to continuing our vision and practice of student-designed education, and I am excited to develop more leadership opportunities for our students to keep shaping our school,” she said. “Continuing to be a healing-centered, trauma-informed, and culturally-responsive school where all students belong is extremely important to me. I want our students to feel safe, supported, and excited to come to school every day. Part of this work includes supporting our amazing teachers (whom we call advisors) and staff in their growth and development so that we are modeling healthy risk-taking, learning, and growth for our students and keep improving our practice.”
The Big Picture Ukiah program relies heavily on community involvement. Kita is excited to continue her school’s work with many community partners, including the Pinoleville Pomo Nation, educator and basket-weaver Corinne Pearce, the Arbor Youth Resource Center, Ukiah Aikido’s Peaceful Warrior Project, SPACE, Mendocino College, and all of the mentors and local businesses that have interns who help teach our young people their business, their trade, and their passions.
Ms. Grinberg originates from the Bay Area and is happy to have now made a home in Ukiah, surrounded by nature. Kita enjoys meditating, hiking, dancing, and spending quality time with close friends and her godchildren. In addition to these activities, Kita enjoys creating art and learning from the natural world and admires the beauty of manzanitas, redwoods, madrones, and oaks.