4 principals

Former principals Winnie Hogoboom, Aracely Romo-Flores and Wally Trujillo stand with current principal Aída Diaz.

The Wong family stands with Mrs. Phillipson, retired teacher. Janelle Wong, Mrs. Phillipson, Leland Wong, Mrs. Wong, Maelene Wong and husband, Chris Simmons. All of the Wong children went to Biella, as well as Chris Simmons.

Albert F. Biella Elementary School on Friday celebrated its 25th year of teaching. Students and teachers, past and present, as well as parents, showed up for the event. Former principals  Wally Trujillo, Winnie Hogoboom and Aracely Romo-Flores also joined current principal Aida Diaz for a special presentation. “It’s a wonderful school with a great staff and wonderful families,” said Michaele Morales, whose children attended Biella when it first opened and who now works at the school. Trujillo, the school’s first principal, said in some remarks he prepared for the event that the school came into existence to serve the needs of a growing neighborhood. ” Kids were everywhere,” he recalled. “Helen Lehman School had become a long walk away and was very overcrowded…The same was true for Monroe Elementary just to the north. ” The school was named after Al Biella, who was principal of nearby Piner High as well  Doyle Park Elementary and Slater Junior High. “When we opened Biella many parents of its first students informed us they had been students at Piner in Mr. Biella’s last years there,” Trujillo said. “This was important to them and seemed to indicate a commitment to make Biella a successful school with positive parent involvement.” After recalling the past, he looked to the future. ” How we find common purpose still remains,” he said. “So I am hopeful that, as we wrap up the first 25 years of the Biella community represented by this site,we are looking forward with the same enthusiasm to the next twenty-five.” Susan Fries, lead teacher for fourth and fifth grades and the main coordinator for the event, said that while the school has grown and it’s demographics changed over the last quarter century, the tight-knit nature of the school has remained constant. “We all work as a team to do what is best for the students,” she said. “That practice has remained the same for 25 years.”