Superintendent

Dr. Jeff Harding

Phone: (650) 940-4669

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Honors Graduate, UC Berkeley Doctor of Education Sherman-Fairchild Scholar

Dr. Jeff Harding

Dr. Jeff Harding has served as Superintendent of the Mountain View Los Altos High School District since July 2015. Previously, he was the Superintendent for the Healdsburg Unified School District for seven years.

He began his career teaching environmental education and mathematics. He later served as Assistant Principal at Drake High School in Marin County and as the founding Principal of Windsor High School, where he launched the progressive integrated studies program.  As an adjunct faculty member at Sonoma State University, he helped to prepare aspiring school principals as educational leaders.

Dr. Harding is an honors graduate from U.C. Berkeley, where he was a Sherman-Fairchild Scholar. He completed his dissertation on the development of positive school culture and was awarded his doctorate in 2007.

A long-time Rotarian and member of the El Camino YMCA Board of Managers, Dr. Harding has contributed to many civic initiatives. He is married with four sons, ages 25 to 31, and resides in Mountain View.

Associate Superintendent of Business Services

Mr. Mike Mathiesen

Phone: (650) 940-4666

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Bachelor and Master degrees, Stanford University Masters in Education, San Jose State University’s Urban High School Leadership Program

Mr. Mike Mathiesen

Mike Mathiesen has served as Associated Superintendent Business Services for MVLA since 2014.  His responsibilities include the district budget, facilities, technology and food services. Mike began his education career as a social studies teacher at Mountain View High School for seven years before he transitioned to assistant principal for another six years. His previous experience in facilities management and working with the site administrative team to achieve district and site goals (such as increased student achievement, alignment of curriculum, grading and instructional practices) served as foundation for his current role in the District. Mike received both Bachelor and Master degrees from Stanford University and an M.A. in Education (administration and supervision) through San Jose State University’s Urban High School Leadership Program.

Associate Superintendent of Educational Services

Mrs. Margarita Navarro

Phone: (650) 940-7494

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Bachelors of Arts, San Jose State Two Master of Arts degrees in Education, University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University

Mrs. Margarita Navarro

Margarita Navarro Associate Superintendent of Educational Services for the MVLA High School District. She joined the district in July 2017 and is responsible for overseeing Educational Services. 

Margarita has a broad range of experience in curriculum, testing and personnel. She came to MVLA from the San Mateo Union High School District, where she served as assistant principal for seven years. In that role, she developed master class schedules, oversaw curriculum development and course alignment, and administered myriad standardized tests (CAASP, SBIA, CELDT, CAHSEE, ACT and more). Margarita has extensive experience supervising and supporting departments and student services. Prior to becoming a site administrator, she was a teacher training coordinator, an AVID and Social Studies teacher, and a bilingual resource instructor.

She earned her Bachelors of Arts from San Jose State, and two Master of Arts degrees in Education - one from the University of California, Berkeley and a second from Stanford University.

Associate Superintendent of Personnel Services

Mrs. Leyla Benson

Phone: (650) 940-4675

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Bachelors, teaching, credentials and Masters in Educational Leadership, Saint Mary’s College of California,

Mrs. Leyla Benson

Leyla Benson joined MVLA in January 2018 as the Associate Superintendent for Personnel. She administers a wide variety of critical personnel responsibilities including the recruitment, selection, hiring and orientation for all new staff in the high school district. She ensures that the district conforms to its policies, relevant laws, contracts and agreements. A key member of the cabinet, she advises Superintendent Harding, district administrators and managers, principals and assistant principals on a variety of personnel-related issues.

Leyla came to MVLA from the Mount Diablo Unified School District in Concord, where she served as Executive Director of Human Resources for four years. She was lead negotiator with bargaining units, led the hiring and onboarding of hundreds of new teachers and staff, and handled all HR issues for more than 5,000 district, hourly and substitute employees. She also oversaw a team of 16 personnel staff members. She has extensive experience with recruitment and personnel matters of the most challenging nature.

Earlier in her career, Benson was a principal at several East Bay high schools, and was an English teacher at Pittsburg High School. Before she found her path in education, she worked in public relations and television news for several years. Ms. Benson is a cum laude graduate of Saint Mary’s College of California, where she also earned her teaching and administrative services credentials, and a Masters in Educational Leadership.