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Principal's Message

Dear Cottonwood Family,


Welcome to the 2021 – 2022 school year! I recognize the unanticipated change of leadership at the beginning of the school year, and please know I am very excited to be a part of the Cottonwood School Family. Already, I can see what an amazing place this is to work!  It is an honor to be here with you and to be a part of the great things that are happening at Cottonwood School! I can’t wait to see the heights our scholars and staff achieve this year.


This is the beginning of my 26th year in the field of public education and my fourth year with the Hemet Unified School District.  I began my love of education in the Marine Corps Reserves when I was given a required opportunity to teach maps and orienteering to members of my platoon. It was a scary thing for me to do at the time, but ended up being one of the most rewarding.  This was my introduction to teaching and inspired me to go back to school for my credential. I earned my Bachelor's Degree from UC Santa Cruz (Go Banana Slugs), my credential from Bethune College, and my Master’s Degree in Administration from San Bernardino State University.  


Over the past 25 years, I have served education in a variety of roles and responsibilities.  I taught in Kindergarten through 8th Grade Language Arts.  My first 7 years were spent teaching in Spanish and English at a Bilingual School in Watsonville, CA.  When I moved with my family to Southern California, I landed in the Val Verde Unified School district and had the valuable opportunity to lead the Teachers’ Union for several years as the President.  On a personal note, I am a proud husband and father to six amazing children - all teenagers and beyond!


Four years ago, I knew when a position became available in Hemet as a site administrator, I had to come, because of the focus on scholars first and foremost.  My time co-leading Jacob Weins and Hemet Elementary school were valuable opportunities that helped me grow as a leader.  Truly, Cottonwood exemplifies our district vision of Embrace, Educate and Empower.  I am excited to work alongside the staff, students, and families to continue the great work going on here.


Relationships are very important to me and key to our success as educators. I look forward to building relationships with all of you, as well as our scholars, parents, and community members.  I know that the education of our scholars can only be done well with the support of our parents and community.  I look forward to making this a priority. My other priority will be to support all of you moving forward as we navigate our return to school and the exciting direction of focus for HUSD.


Please know that I truly have an open door policy.  If you have any questions or concerns moving forward, I welcome the opportunity to meet with you and offer my support - do not hesitate to reach out.  Here’s to a successful school year!  



Albert Trudel