July 1, 2021
Dear Live Oak School District Staff, Students, Parents, and Community Members,
It is with great honor and privilege to introduce myself as our district’s new Superintendent. Thank you to the Board of Trustees for their support and their fervent commitment to the students and staff of our district. I am elated to be joining the Live Oak School District family!
My transition started in May, when I came for three days to meet with district/school staff and visited classrooms before school ended. I also had the opportunity to meet with a couple of community partners and was present for the groundbreaking at the Santa Cruz Community Health, Dientes Community Dental Care and MidPen Housing on Capitola Road. I am grateful to the outgoing Superintendent Chamberland for working closely with me to facilitate a smooth transition. During my visit, I was able to witness firsthand the excellent programs and services provided to students and families, the incredible community support and partnerships, and enriching opportunities our schools and incredible teachers, support staff, and administrators provide our students.
As a leader, I wholeheartedly believe that building relationships is critical to all that we do. My entry plan titled Listening, Learning, and Leading reflects my core values and focuses on building key relationships within my first 100 days as Superintendent and outlines specific actions I will take to learn more about the Live Oak School District. My experience has been in working with diverse communities, and I have learned that to be effective, our District must reflect a wide range of viewpoints and cultures. The activities in the entry plan emphasize opportunities to listen, understand, and learn about the Board of Trustees, District staff, schools, and community. Active listening is the key to building strong relationships. Strong relationships will be the key to my success as Superintendent. While listening, learning, and leading, I will work with the Board to develop the foundations for a strong governance team. All stakeholders' comments and viewpoints will provide a framework for the plan to move forward in the service of students.
I am so happy to be joining this great community and serving students and families whose stories reflect my own. Having moved to California from Puerto Rico around the age of 7, upon arrival at the neighborhood school, which had no bilingual classroom, I was in an English only classroom where I struggled to understand the language and connect with the teacher and students. My parents quickly found a school that had bilingual teachers and I was placed in an amazing classroom where the teacher made learning culturally relevant and connected not only with me but with my entire family. This early childhood experience deeply impacted my desire to become a teacher and to ensure students were always seen and known in the classroom. Throughout my educational journey from instructional aide to elementary, middle school, and high school teacher to all my administrative positions at schools, district, and county offices my goal is to always build teams that work together to ensure relationships are developed with students that will have profound impact on their academic achievement and future success. You will often hear me say “It takes a team to educate a child.” That team is made up of teachers, support classified staff, administrators, parents, and community partners. We must link arms and together to ensure students are successful, not just academically, but also emotionally and mentally.
On a personal note, I am the proud mother to two wonderful adult children, Kayla (29), married, and Joshua (26). They are my pride and joy. My role as a mother has magnified my sense of responsibility to meet the diverse needs of our students and to provide opportunities within our schools that will help prepare them for future successes. My own kid’s journey in school and their different learning styles was another personal experience that has impacted my passion for ensuring that students receive differentiated instruction to meet the various needs. I look forward to working with the Board of Trustees and entering the 2021-2022 school year with hope, anticipation, and joy. As a team, we will work to empower, inspire, and ensure equitable opportunities for every student to thrive. I will be setting up “Coffee and Tea with the Superintendent” to provide opportunities for conversation and dialogue with parents. Dates and locations will be sent in future correspondence.
Thank you for your support and I look forward to seeing you all soon.
Dr. Daisy Morales