Degrees and Certifications:
Dr. Clara Finneran
Assistant Superintendent of Education
Dr. Finneran is responsible for the coordination of curriculum, curriculum assessment and related professional development and categorical programs. She oversees the development and implementation of the District’s Local Educational Agency Plan (LEAP), the District’s Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP), provides oversight to the Directors of Elementary and Secondary Education and manages student discipline. Dr. Finneran serves as an active member of the District’s management team and the Superintendent’s Cabinet.
Prior to her current role at Las Virgenes, Dr. Finneran served as principal of Pleasant Valley School of Engineering and Arts (PVSEA). As principal, she has favorably rebranded the school, refined its focus areas to include artsand engineering, increased base enrollment by almost 20 percent, expanded to middle school grade levels, introduced a makerspace, and achieved a near 1:1 student to technology ratio. Concurrent withthis role, Dr. Finneran has coordinated and collaborated on several special projects for the Pleasant Valley School District, such as the survey development and analysis for LCAP and LEAP.
Prior to her tenure at PVSEA, Dr. Finneran served as principal of James Monroe Middle School. There she initiated and executed the implementation of data-driven staff and student programs including professional learning communities, Response to Intervention (RtI), Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), and WEB orientation for 6 th grade students. Dr. Finneran’s leadership resulted in an Academic Performance Index (API) increase of 80 points. She also facilitated the school’s staff preparation and successful implementation of the California State Standards.
Dr. Finneran received her doctorate from the University of Southern California (USC). She holds two master’s degrees: one in education leadership from the University of San Francisco (USF), and the other in teaching from the University of Portland (UP). She received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Finneran began her career as a Spanish teacher and has taught English, English Learners, and served as the Dean of Students at Burroughs High School in the Sierra Sands Unified School District. She is fluent in Spanish and American Sign Language.
Dr. Finneran extended her professional knowledge and insight from 2009-2014 at both regional and state levels to the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA). She served successively as the East Kern Charter Secretary, Vice President and President. Her leadership role continued as she contributed strategic planning talents as a member of the State Leadership Summit and State Strategic Planning teams, as well as the Middle Grades Council Region XI Representative. She was the RegionXI Middle Grades Principal of the Year in 2014.
It is the mission of the Educational Services Department to support universal student achievement in all academic areas, which will ensure successful learners who are prepared for the world of higher education and work in the 21st century. We support the goals of the Board of Education and the Superintendent for continued academic excellence from a staff that receives professional development in current best instructional practices in a rapidly changing world. Our mission is to use data-driven decision making and a continual review of our research-based initiatives to support maximum achievement for all students in Las Virgenes. The Educational Services Department philosophy is based on the premise that Professional Learning Communities involving all stakeholders -- students, teachers, parents, administrators, and community -- can best determine the support needed to promote student success.
Education Services Department Responsibilities
Curriculum and Instruction K - 12
Liaison with Post High School Higher Learning Institutions
Assessment & Accountability
Student Discipline including Suspensions & Expulsions
CHOICES Intervention Program
Title I Program Oversight
Professional Development for Curriculum and Instruction
Overnight Field Trip Approval
Independent Study Program
Las Virgenes Academy Program
Fifth Grade Outdoor Education
English Language Learners Program
Gifted Education Program
Elementary Science Team
Common Core State Standards transition