Sandy Ammentorp
First Lutheran School Torrance
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Torrance, California

Sandy Ammentorp ensures teacher excelle Sandy Ammentorpnce at First Lutheran School Torrance through thorough hiring and evaluation practices. She takes pride in each of the 11 teachers she has hired since becoming principal of her Pre-K-8 school in 2004. High-quality teaching helped the school receive accreditation under Ammentorp. Her leadership achievements include dramatic improvements in technology on campus. The 400 students now enrolled in the school benefit from Internet access in each classroom. Teachers use an online grading program. They also have access to a projector, document camera, DVD/VCR player, and laptop computer. In addition, two years ago, school staff completely upgraded the computer lab. Another change at First Lutheran School Torrance in which Ammentorp has been instrumental is that “inclusiveness has greatly improved,” she says. To this end, Ammentorp began admitting students who are still learning English. She also initiated a new process for monitoring student progress that involves meetings of the school’s Student Success Team. That team focuses on students who struggle either academically or socially in school. The meeting process that Ammentorp instituted involves the principal, teachers, parents, and the student, if appropriate. The group develops an action plan at an initial meeting and sets a follow-up date to measure the student’s progress. Ammentorp holds a B.A. from the University of California at Los Angeles and an M.A. from California State University.