About Dr. Dena Harris

Dena Harris

Head of School

Dena Harris, D.Ed, became Head of School and Executive Director in 2016. Dena is an experienced educator with a broad vision for Winston.

A graduate of University of California, Santa Cruz, and San Diego State University, Dena went on to earn teaching and specialist credentials from SDSU and the University of San Diego. She recently completed the San Diego State University Educational Leadership Doctoral Program, where she focused on mental health and wellness programs for students.

Before joining Winston, Dena was chief executive officer of San Diego Global Vision Academies, a non-profit public charter school organization serving 320 elementary and middle school students. She was one of the leading founders of the charter school, and she presided over the school’s growth, management, fundraising and success. She is a board member and vice chair of the Charter School Facility Committee Prop Z Bond, which awards $350 million of bond funding to charter schools, and reviews and approves all charter facility development applications.

She is also a Reading and Educational Specialist providing customized educational programs and interventions for students, families and schools. As such, she has designed curriculum, assessment plans, professional development and teacher mentoring.

Dena was the director of curriculum and instruction for the MAAC Charter School, part of the Sweetwater Union High School District, an educational computer consultant, a board member for the International Dyslexia Association, and a classroom teacher at Darnall Elementary School. Dena and her husband are parents to four young children.

We have something at our school that you can’t find many other places. You know us for who we are.

- Ian O'Brien '07


The faculty of The Winston School, San Diego, is composed of highly trained and experienced educators, therapists and support staff who passionately believe that every child can learn and achieve success in life. We strive to support students in reaching their goals, whether academic, artistic, personal or professional through the use of multi-sensory presentation, differentiated instruction, cross-curricular projects and specialized technology. The team of special needs learning specialists tailor their work according to what each individual student needs.

The educational staff is carefully chosen for their educational credentials and experience as well as for the personal touch they bring to their interactions with students of all ages. All are certified and their professional growth is a major focus of the overall culture of the school.

By special arrangement, our master teachers support interns and student teachers enrolled in the following San Diego schools: Cal State San Marcos, University of San Diego and National University.

The Winston School faculty shares personal interests with students by participating in extracurricular events, sponsoring clubs, chaperoning evening cultural events and travel opportunities. Many also pursue professional careers in the arts.