Our Founder

Mrs. Deborah Rutkowski-HinesMrs. Deborah Rutkowski-Hines

Mrs. Hines started Westside Academy in the fall of 2012. She saw a need for a high quality, alternative setting for some of our students who don't do well in a comprehensive middle school. She also saw a need to transition to the use of more student technology from within the classroom. Mrs. Hines chose and further developed our curriculum, set-up our facility, and developed our intake and operations procedures. Within 3 years, Westside Academy became a high demand school that has a waiting list every year.

Mrs. Rutkowski- Hines has a professional clear administrative credential. She has an elementary credential in multiple subjects and secondary credentials in social studies, and English. She has a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction and a "CLAD" authorization to teach second language students. As a teacher, Mrs. Hines was a mentor teacher who inducted new teachers into the profession. She was also a Master Teacher who trained student teachers on the job. In April of 2016, Mrs. Hines was named "Principal of the Year" by Westside Union School District and by ACSA Region XV (Association of California School Administrators) in alternative education. She previously held elected public office as a school board member. Mrs. Hines retired in December of 2017.