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I am thrilled to begin my tenure as Superintendent of Soquel Union Elementary School District (SUESD). There is no place I would rather be as I start my 27th year in public education. I have been made to feel very welcomed by all the staff and community members I have met thus far. Please allow me to tell you a little about myself personally and professionally.
I was born in Saginaw, Michigan. My family moved to Lakewood, CA in the late 70's and then settled in what was then the dairy town of Chino, CA by the early 80's. I graduated from Chino's Don Lugo High School in 1986. I received my bachelor's degree (Liberal Studies, Credential Option) from Cal Poly Pomona University in 1990 and my master's degree (Education) from The Claremont Graduate University in 1992.
My wife Elizabeth and I just celebrated our 15-year Anniversary. We have one child, our six-year-old daughter, Ava, who is going into second grade. My wife is a teacher too so education is of the upmost importance to us. Elizabeth most recently taught 4th grade at Los Olivos School. Prior to that she taught several different grades in Ontario-Montclair School District including several years teaching Kindergarten. Our little family is looking forward to this new adventure together.
Professionally, throughout my 26-year career as a public educator, I have been a classroom teacher, teacher on special assignment, assistant principal, principal, principal on special assignment, director, and Superintendent/Principal. I have served in one of the largest K-8 systems in California (Ontario-Montclair) and one of the smallest (Vista Del Mar). These experiences have served as crucibles of learning in preparation for this newest leadership position. Along the way I have found that collaboration with staff, parents, and community is the most meaningful, effective and rewarding part of educating our youth.
I recently (May 2016) completed a course called the Innovative Technology Academy though the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA). The course allowed me to become certified as a "Leading Edge Administrator." The course pushed me to consider what digital literacy and digital citizenship look like for our youth and how this impacts the classroom.
I can tell that SUESD is a learning community dedicated to educating the whole child in an effort to nurture well-rounded students and lifelong learners. I am excited to carry on that tradition and in leading new ways to enrich it. I have met many staff members already and have been impressed with the evident professionalism and pride everyone takes in this school district. I plan to do lots of listening and observing these next few months as I absorb the culture of the SUESD community and build new relationships.