Principal Updates

Principal Daws on the steps of Marina with students

"My office is always open. Please come and share any thoughts you have to help continue to make Marina great." 

- Principal Ginny Daws


Principal Updates: School Year 2019-2020

School year 2019-2020 Principal Updates can be found on the top of each Family Newsletter. Please CLICK HERE to visit our family newsletter home page.

June 4, 2019

Dear Marina Families,

The year has come to an end way too quickly.

We are going to miss all of our incredible Marina students and families who have supported and been a part of us throughout the year. 

Thank you everyone for giving us the gift of time with your children.

Happy Summer!


May 31, 2019


We had an incredible promotion today for 8th grade....and we still have a busy two days to go. 

Just a reminder, school ends June 4.   


May 24, 2019

Dear Marina Family:

Today’s 8th grade Penguin Awards celebrated our student’s many and diverse strengths. The assembly was awesome and the student feedback has been incredibly positive. In an effort to truly be a family and follow our school vision of “supportive, empowering and challenging”…this is a great start. The student behavior in the assembly was wonderful because students were receiving awards in areas that require character and they were all listening and proud of each other…and this is the Marina magic. 

June 3rd will be the Penguin Awards for 6th and 7th Graders.

We have had two wonderful evening performances, one by the band and choir last week and the orchestra this week.   

Tonight is the 8th grade dinner dance from 5:30 until 8.  We have an excited group of students ready to enjoy the music, the dinner and a surprise performance.

We have two incredible opportunities for student in June:

  • An introduction to backpacking which will be in the Jones Gulch Area for five days and four nights from June 16-20.  The trip is normally $730 and we are being given 6 full scholarships for the program.  This trip is for 6th through 8th grades.
  • Backpacking in the Desolation Wilderness Area (Lake Tahoe) for 10 days and nine nights from June 23 to July 2.  This is normally $1330 and we are being funded five or six full scholarships for the program. This trip is for 8th graders.
  • This program is being sponsored by expert backpackers through the YMCA.  We will be giving permission forms to those students who are interested beginning on Tuesday. They will have to bring them home to have signed and return them to Mr. Yee in the counseling office.  We will be taking students on a first application in basis. They will also be given a list of what to bring and what the trip sponsors will be providing in terms of equipment.

Next week we will be rehearsing for promotion, cleaning out lockers and generally being wildly busy.

I hope you will enjoy this wonderful long weekend with your families.


May 17, 2019

Update from Principal Ginny Daws

Hi Marina families,

We have just completed another busy week with lots of activities:

1. The 8th-grade is at Great America today as part of their promotion activities.

2. The Spring Band Concert was on Wednesday evening and it was amazing!!

3. Teachers had a fun gathering after school yesterday with our Canvas community partners.

4. We have emptied two containers and the parking lot will acquire a few more spaces 

Next week we will have: 

1. The 8th-grade dinner dance on Friday.  

2. We will have the Orchestra Concert at 6 p.m. on Wednesday the 22nd.

3. The AAPAC dinner will be at 6 p.m on Tuesday, May 21 at the YMCA on Buchanan.

It looks as if it will be another busy week.

Enjoy your weekends everyone.


May 13, 2019

Dear Marina Families:

What an incredible May Carnival just happened.  The students had a wonderful time, the weather cooperated by being sunny and warm, we cooked our own food thanks to Harry and his barb que, made tie dye t shirts, danced and generally just enjoyed being together.

8th grade parents…if you wish extra tickets for promotion, please contact Ms. Leicham.  Every family receives two tickets and the maximum one can request is two additional ones.  When we reach capacity in seats, there will be no more so it is first requests receive the available tickets.    We can only seat the auditorium to the number of seats that exist due to fire code. Students will receive their tickets the week of promotion. This Friday is the Great America trip.

We are looking at a busy three weeks until summer.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call.


May 3, 2019

Hi Marina Families:

We are about to have an exciting afternoon at Kezar Stadium for the All City Track Finals.  Our student athletes are leaving in half an hour.  Anyone who would like to cheer them on…please do.  It will be wonderful and it is a perfect day to be outside watching.  It will begin at 3. 

Next week is also exciting and will culminate on Friday, May 10 with our May Carnival from 1 to 3. We will be having lots of activities, food and games.

We have 8th grade promotion activities coming up quickly.  The dates are as follows: Great America on Friday, May 17 leaving Marina at 9 and returning around 6 p.m. Dinner Dance on Friday, May 24 from 5 to 8.  Promotion ceremony on Friday, May 31 at 10 a.m.

AAPAC (African American Parent Advisory Council) Community Dinner will be at the Buchanan YMCA on Tuesday, May 21 from 5-7pm . Fliers will be delivered home on Monday, May 6th.  Every returned invite will be entered into a raffle with prizes of Marina gear, Clipper cards, and other fun prizes.  Please look for this and return to Miss Leicham.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend with your families.

Ginny Daws

April 26, 2019

Hi Marina Families,

We are now completing our second week of testing and will begin our third week on Monday.  

We will have our STEAM night next Tuesday from 4 p.m.until 6 p.m. ...please see attached flyer. Come everyone and see the incredible things our students are doing.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Ginny Daws

April 29, 2019

Happy Friday Marina Family:

It was another incredible week with our students...but it seems to quickly be leading toward summer which I always find special for everyone and also sad in that we miss the kids and their incredible energy.

We have track events going on and I will include a track schedule Monday. 

The eighth graders will be given their directions for a letter to the principal as part of the promotion process.  These will be given to them next week by their English teachers and will be due by May 3.  I love reading these letters and understanding the many things that are important to our students.

Have a great weekend.

Ginny Daws

April 12, 2019

Dear Marina Families,

We are coming into a really spring weekend….and are loving the weather here in our backyard all day. 

The track team is practicing in the afternoons and we have had our first meet already.  It is a highlight to see the kids outside after school each day.

Coming up:

April 23rd Popsicle Pop Up for incoming sixth graders at 4 p.m.

8th grade parents: graduation photos were delivered during social studies.  Students need to pay or return the photos to their social studies teachers.

8th grade end of year activities letters went home in language arts classes and includes information about Great America, the dinner dance and promotion.

Have a happy weekend with your families.

Ginny Daws

April 5, 2019

Dear Marina Families:

Happy Friday and hopefully a weekend filled with sunshine.

We have had a terrific week and our first track meet despite the rain.

We are beginning state testing on Monday, April 15th

Ms. Katie Brown created a Marina M.S. team for the Best Buddies Walk on April 13, 2019 at Golden Gate Park (registration 8 a.m.). It is such a great event and we should definitely get a team together to walk (I am thinking we should wear Marina shirts.)  Come join us in this walk.  Here's the link: 

In faculty news: Ms. Scott, English teacher, returned from maternity leave this week and Ms. Lamb, our head counselor, is returning April 17th.  She will be taking the 8th grade as Ms. Araujo, 8th grade counselor, has taken a personal leave through the end of the year.  Ms. Trina Ponce will continue as the 7th grade counselor. Ms. Ma, our Cantonese teacher, has also taken a leave through the end of the year due to health.

We are in the beginning stages of planning for our May Carnival which will be amazing as we will have a number of new activities.  Anyone who would like to help, please contact Matt Helmenstine.

Have a wonderful weekend with your families.


Ginny Daws

March 22, 2019

Dear Marina Family:

We will be missing our students for the next week….so I hope every single person has a wonderful week with family and friends….and we look forward to all the tales of the week when you return.


Ginny Daws

March 18, 2019

Hello Penguin family!  We wanted to celebrate and share a few amazing things that are happening at Marina and in SFUSD

Project Based Learning at Marina!

Ms. Sparks 7th grade Social Studies classes showcased project based learning at Marina with her Sparkomaxians activity.

The barbarian tribe, Sparkomaxians, descended upon the castles of Room 323 earlier this week. A total of 21 castles were attacked! More than half perished, for a variety of reasons, such as lack of water source, a lack of diversity of food, poor inner wall defenses, etc. However, some castles were successful in surviving our initial attack (with functional crossbows, catapults, trebuchets, drawbridges, and battlements) and had planned out how to survive a long term siege. Photos attached!

District AAPAC Event- 3/22/19

The district AAPAC (African American Parent Advisory Council) and the CAC (Community Advisory Committee For Special Education) are hosting a panel and discussion, 'Learning While Black' at the African American Art and Cultural Center on Thursday, March 21st from 5:30-8:00pm. More information can be found on the attached flier.

Marina Students win at film festival!

"Dozens of films were submitted to Breathe California's Clear The Air Film Fest this year and 22 finalist films were screened on March 16, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. at the New People Cinema in San Francisco. The Film Fest, now in its eighth year, strives to inspire young people to be a voice for their community and lend their unique perspectives to important lung and environmental health issues, using film as a medium for change." 

 PSA: Youth Category 
First Place and $300 Prize:  Breathe for the Future 
By: Aya Afenzal, Mattheson Dobay, Mamen Gashaw, Chantal Loong, Bella Ruan (Marina Middle School)

March 8, 2019

Marina Family Newsletter

Please check out our *NEW* Marina family newsletter,!  This will have information on events and highlight the wonderful things happening at Marina!

Happy weekend


March 1, 2019

Hi Marina Family:

I want to share a highlight of the week…some of Ms. Ho’s students went to city hall to celebrate Chinese New Year with the mayor. See attached video.

Here is our Parent Teacher Conference Schedule for next wee .  See attached

Don’t forget that we have no late start Wednesday and no 0 period next week. There will be no special buses after school this week.

We also have the school summit at Everette Middle School tomorrow from 8:30 to 1 p.m.  All are welcome to join us.

We welcome our new nurse, Cassandra Montalvo.

We had a Principal breakfast chat this morning and thank the PTSA for putting it on with food.

Have a wonderful happy weekend.

Ginny Daws

February 27, 2019

Hello Parents and Guardians:

Just to let you know we have our school summit at Everett Middle School on Satureday, March 2 beginning at 8:30 a.m. until noon.  I would love to invite anyone interested in talking about our focus and budget for next year.  

Hope to see anuyone who is interested Saturday.

Ginny Daws

February 22, 2019

Hello Marina Family:

Annual Marina Middle School Community Input Meeting

As part of the yearly budget process, we will be having our Annual Marina Middle School Community Input Meeting on Friday, March 1st at 8:00am in the school library, coffee will be served. Please feel free to come and share any thoughts about the school from strengths to future opportunities. Our Principal will answer general questions about next year's budget, share a few programming thoughts for next year...but most importantly, listen to what parents have to say.  Unable to attend the meeting, please consider taking a moment to share your thoughts at the LINK HERE.

- The PTSA

 Culture and Climate Survey 

 Starting February 11th, we will be asking you to fill out a short survey about your feelings about the school. This survey is very important to helping us understand how we can improve the school, so please be sure you fill one out before March 22nd! We want to hear every family’s voice!

The Culture and Climate Survey is part of our school’s and our district’s accountability system and is one way we are measuring the Culture and Climate of our school. The family Culture-Climate survey is one important way to help us understand how families feel about our school and their child’s learning, and how our school can improve. It is very important that we get as many of our families to respond as possible so that we have data that truly represents the whole school and not just a few people. Everyone’s voice is important! There are no right or wrong answers to any of these questions. We just want to know everyone’s honest opinion. The survey is available online and is translated into Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Tagalog, and Arabic. Parents with multiple children in this school should fill out one survey for each child. If you have children in another school, you should fill out a survey at that school as well.

 Black History Month at Marina!

 We have been celebrating black history all month at Marina!  We showcased community members and our own students for the Black History Month assembly on the 19th (pictures are on the website) and we were excited to honor our African American honor roll students at the awards presentation at St. Mary’s Cathedral on Thursday, Feb. 21st.  Go Penguins!!

I hope everyone is going to have a great weekend and we look forward to Monday.


Ginny Daws

February 14, 2019

Hi Families,

Do come join us for coffee in the lIbrary tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. to have a conversation with our Assistant Principal, Emily Leicham who will be talking about the culture and climate at Marina.  The PTSA is providing coffee and snacks, and I think you should definitely come meet Emily. 

Hope to see you.

Ginny Daws

February 8, 2019

Dear Marina Families:

Happy Friday everyone !

Culture & Climate Team- Parent Volunteers Needed

We are starting a culture and climate team at Marina. This group will work together to strengthen our positive culture at school for families, staff, students and the community.  We are looking for parents to join. The meetings will be every other month on Thursdays from 3:40-5:00pm.  Please let Emily Leicham know if you are interested either by phone, 425-749-3495, or email,

 Black History Month

Marina students are being recognized by the district for their presentation for Black History Month.  Students added their voices to a black history month presentation that will be shown every day in first period for the month of February.  The district featured this on their twitter page, @sfunified, and it is also on the front page of our website.  Marina is celebrating this month with many events during the school day, and at lunch and will be having an assembly on the 19th featuring members of the community and our students.

Girl's Sports@Marina

As Wednesday of this week was National Girls and Women in Sports day, we want to celebrate our female athletes at Marina by recognizing our volleyball team for their 4-3 record this year.  They are a wonderful example of hard work and dedication!

 Assistant Principal Coffee Chat- 2/15/19

Reminder that Miss Leicham will be hosting an assistant principal coffee chat on Friday, February 15th at 8:05am to discuss the culture and climate at Marina and what next steps we are working on as well as hear from the community about their thoughts on the climate at Marina for all.

 Free Dental Screenings for students ages 3-17 years old.

Saturday, February 9th, 2019, 10am-3pm

UCSF School of Dentistry

70 Parnassus Ave, 2nd floor

Free Dental Screenings, Fluoride Varnish, Sealants, Interactive Oral Health Education, Goodie Bags, Toothbrushes, Floss, Toothpaste, Games, Face Painting, and Disney themed photo opportunities.

No appointment Needed

Questions? email

Another rainy weekend to enjoy being inside….see you all Monday.

Ginny Daws