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Illuminator Spotlight: Timothy Brienza (Cibola HS)

Written by
August 15th, 2017


Meet Timothy Brienza, the Principal at Cibola High School. His role involves managing the day-to-day activities of his campus and overseeing faculty and staff, which includes setting the educational vision and goals to align with expectations. Yuma has been an Illuminate customer for over 5 years.

We asked Timothy a few questions to learn about what’s happening in Yuma, AZ.


What led you to teaching/education?

Being the child of two educators, entering the field of education was a logical choice for me. I always enjoyed learning, but most importantly, I have always found joy in seeing others improve. At Marquette University, I had to several opportunities to grow as a student leader and my time there helped finalize my career choice of education.

Describe the Principal’s Network. How did this begin, and what were its purposes and goals?

The Principal’s Network began last year with Dr. Abram Jimenez leading a core group of administrators in the Yuma Union High School District with the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle. Principals would present a problem of practice for the collaborative group of principals, and this was followed by classroom observations over that problem of practice. Through rich dialogue and sharing of practice, principals were able to share success and failures and learn from one another. I found the feedback and input from my colleagues to be very informative in helping create a PDSA over my problem of practice.

How has Illuminate helped your district in achieving your goals?

To help my content-level professional learning communities work with data, I based my PDSA cycle around using formative assessments to drive instruction. This first began with my Cambridge A/S Language team using Illuminate to build formative assessments to shorten the time lag of data analysis. They were so successful that I had each of my four assistant principals create a similar PDSA with different content-level teams to have five collaborative groups working on using formative assessments in Illuminate to make informed data-driven decisions.

To help with using Illuminate’s Data and Assessment (DnA), ten teachers and I attended the Illuminate Education User Conference (IEUC) in San Diego to help expose and train teachers in different areas of Illuminate. These teachers have now become the leaders in their curriculum content teams and on campus.

Is there anything else you want to share? Any success stories, new initiatives or exciting opportunities for the 2017-18 school year?

I am very excited about our school-wide goal for the 2017-2018 school year. “Staff will use appropriate differentiated instruction and data to make informed academic decisions that will increase student achievement during the 2017-18 school year, which will be observed through professional learning communities.” We will still be using PDSA as administrators to help our content teams with relevant data discussions. I am looking forward to seeing how much we grow as a school with our use of formative assessment in Illuminate. Finally, I am looking forward to working with Dr. Jimenez and our Principal Network on our Key Performance Indicators throughout the year.


Illuminate Education is a provider of educational technology and services offering innovative data, assessment and student information solutions. Serving K-12 schools, our cloud-based software and services currently assist more than 1,600 school districts in promoting student achievement and success.

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