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LJCA Mission Statement


The La Jolla Cluster Association is to promote and support excellence in education in all La Jolla public schools by:

  • Working collaboratively to meet the needs of our diverse student population through the K-12 school experience.

  • Preparing our students for college, careers and life by providing a rigorous, comprehensive, standards-based curriculum that includes technology, the visual and performing arts, physical education, and character education.



LJCA is an organization that serves the five La Jolla public schools: La Jolla High, Muirlands Middle, and Birdrock, La Jolla and Torrey Pines elementaries. The executive board consists of 10 parents (2 from each school), 10 teachers (2 from each school), and five principals. The board held its first meeting on April 6, 2010.


In creating the cluster association, the founders cited the following goals:

  •   to share ideas and resources.

  •   to identify common goals for K through 12.

  •   to build bridges between schools to ease transitions.

  •   to determine spending priorities.

  •   to have a unified voice when working with the district.

  •   to create an environment of unity instead of competition in our community.

  •   to help shape how clusters are formed and utilized throughout the district.


To volunteer, please visit the Contact Us page.




San Diego Unified is supportive of cluster organizations. In its "2020 Vision for Educational Excellence" statement, district leaders declared that in the year 2020 "schools and clusters will have increased authority to establish instructional strategies designed to assure the success of each student, and will be accountable for the results of those decisions."  They also promised that "schools will offer opportunities that increase the capacity of the communities to meet their own needs." And they declared that by the year 2020 "The primary role of central administration will be one of support for school sites." The district board announced an administrative restructuring in April 2010 that was designed in part to enable the district to better support clusters.

2023/24 La Jolla Cluster Representatives: 


Parent Chair: Megan DeMott

Area Superintendent:
Mitzi Merino

SDUSD Board Member:
Cody Petterson

LJES Reps:
Principal: Stephanie Hasselbrink
Parents: Andrea Russell and Megan DeMott
Teachers: Aimee Lansky and Heather Polen
TPES Reps:
Principal: Keith Keiper
Parents: Jennifer Burney and Eren Efe
Teachers: Oriana Yarid and Erika Saldivar
BRE Reps:
Parents: Asha Bleier and Molly MacDonald
Teachers: Peggy Wilkinson and Baily Gripenstraw
Muirlands Reps:
Principal: Jeff Luna
Parents: Katherine Williams and Judith Lihosit
Teachers: Lori Trombley and Rob Tindall
LJHS Reps:
Principal: Chuck Podhorsky
Parents: Mokyou Hyun and Neha Bahadur

Cluster Positions:
Secretary: Lori Trombley
Treasurer: Peggy Wilkinson
Website Manager: Tania Rivera

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