The Fresh Principal of Altadena

In this musical parody, Benita Scheckel, the principal of Altadena Arts Magnet in Pasadena Unified School District laments the Covid crisis with newfound determination to keep showing up for her students and staff.

Ms. Scheckel was selected to lead Altadena Elementary in 2017. She was named the 2017 Most Promising New Administrator by the Association of California School Administrators Region VX. Since 2015, she has served as Assistant Principal of Marshall Fundamental Secondary School, where she led the Academy for Creative Industries, the college and career pathway program. She was previously the K-8 curriculum resource teacher at McKinley School. From 2011-2015, Ms. Scheckel was coordinator of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme at Blair School and served on the team that brought the dual language immersion program to Blair. She began her teaching career at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) in 1999 and joined PUSD in 2007 as an English and Music teacher at Blair School.

As a lead soprano in an opera touring company, Ms. Scheckel has sung internationally in several languages and performed in regional musical theater. She co-wrote Bend in the Road: The Anne of Green Gables Musical that premiered at the Pasadena Playhouse’s Carrie Hamilton Theatre, and was an official selection of the 2013 New York Musical Theatre Festival. Ms. Scheckel has a bachelor of arts in vocal performance from California State University, Los Angeles, a Master’s in Cross Cultural Education from National University, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Educational Leadership at Azusa Pacific University.

A native of Alhambra, Calif., Ms. Scheckel lives in Pasadena with her family.

Altadena Arts Magnet, 743 E. Calaveras Street, Altadena, (626) 396-5650 or visit






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