Principal - Tracey Vander Hayden

Tracey Vander Hayden is celebrating her 37th year in education!

Ms. Vander Hayden has been a principal for twenty-nine years. She has been a principal in both the public and private sectors. She attended CSU San Bernardino and completed her Bachelor of Arts in History and Liberal Studies, where she also received her teaching credentials in both Single Subject and Multiple Subjects. She continued her education at CSUSB for her Master of Arts in Education with an Administrative Credential, and completed her course work for her doctorate in Educational Management at the University of La Verne. Ms. Vander Hayden has been an Adjunct Professor at the University level for the past ten years where she educates teachers who are completing their Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction and/or Education/Administration. Her twelve years' experience as an elementary principal and her seventeen years as a middle school principal provide all learning communities with a depth of understanding regarding the academic, social, and emotional needs of all students. The core of her passion is learning and ensuring that Pioneer’s mission of "Maximizing every student's academic potential and personal responsibility" is achieved.

Under Tracey Vander Hayden’s leadership and through her vision of excellence, Pioneer has been recognized at national, state, and local levels. Currently, Pioneer is the first middle school in TUSD to be recognized as both a National and California Schools to Watch-Taking Center Stage School (1 of 275 middle schools were recognized across the nation in 2019, 2016 and 2013) and a International Model Professional Learning Community (PLC) Middle School (2008-2018). In addition to these first time recognitions, Pioneer was also named a California Gold Ribbon School (2015), Apple Distinguished School (2016), California Distinguished School (2013), an AVID Highly Certified School (2011-2018), a Scholar School by the California Business Education of Excellent (CBEE)(2012-2018), and ranked number one, number two, and in the top ten best schools in Orange County by the OC Register for three consecutive years. Her vision of developing Next Generation learning environments stems from her belief that educators have a moral obligation to prepare our students today for the jobs and careers of their future. Currently, this vision of preparing
her students, teachers, and parents for 21st Century Learning and the California Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is being supported through the passage of TUSD’s $135 million technology bond which provided every student with one to one iPads and every classroom with upgraded instructional technology. Ms. Vander Hayden truly recognizes that the middle school years are critical in preparing students for a successful college and/or career pathway.


Assistant Principal - Troy Fresch

Mr. Fresch is proud to be in his fifth year as Assistant Principal at Pioneer Middle School in the Tustin Unified School District. Previously, Mr. Fresch was the Assistant Principal in charge of facilities, technology, and special education at Tustin High School.

After graduating from California State University, Long Beach, with a bachelor’s degree in English Education, Mr. Fresch worked in public relations and marketing for a computer hardware company. He wrote press releases, marketing material, and advertising copy. But with the crash of the dot-com industry in the late 90s, he decided to pursue his original plan to teach and earned his teaching credential in English from California State University Long Beach. It was the best decision he ever made.

Mr. Fresch taught 7th and 8th grade English at Orangeview Junior High School in the city of Anaheim; 7th grade Core (Language Arts and Social Studies) at Currie Middle School in Tustin; and 9th, 10th, and 12th grade English at Arnold O. Beckman High School, also in Tustin. For five years, while at Beckman High School, he was also the Activity Director. He took great pride and pleasure in the development of Beckman’s success in academics, athletics, activities, and the arts. During that time, he earned his Master of Arts degree in Educational Administration from Concordia University in Irvine, and was selected as Beckman’s teacher of the year in 2011.

At Pioneer Middle School, Mr. Fresch oversees all student services. Mr. Fresch is truly enjoying being back on a middle school campus, and is proud to have been named the 2015 ACSA Region 17 Co-administrator of the year upon his first year at Pioneer. Mr. Fresch’s short-term career goal is to continue as an active member of Pioneer’s highly committed and professional staff. His long-term career goal is to be a middle school and/or high school principal, helping lead a community of learners toward the realization of the school’s mission and its students to be equipped to achieve success in any environment.

Mr. Fresch is a Tustin Public Schools Foundation board member and has served as the co-chairperson for the Dinosaur Dash for the past two years. He is proud to have helped to raise almost a half a million dollars for TUSD schools. He is currently serving his first year of a two-year term as the president of the Tustin School Management Association, representing his colleagues in the county and the state. And when he’s not working hard or volunteering his time, you will find him playing tennis and traveling to tennis tournaments all over the world.