By Lorie Chamberland, Ed.D.
I am pleased to join the Live Oak School District as the new superintendent and am honored to be entrusted with the education of the children living in this special community. Before starting in this position, I had the opportunity to visit all of the school sites and to meet with district staff, parents and community partners. The one phrase I heard again and again was, “You are going to love it here!” In the first month of visiting classrooms, attending school and district events, and getting to know staff and parents, I already find this to be very true.
The Live Oak School District is indeed a special place. It has a long-standing reputation for a caring, dedicated staff, who are committed to providing the best education for all students. Live Oak staff are also known for providing innovative practices with a particular strength in literacy instruction as demonstrated by all three elementary schools receiving California Gold Ribbon Awards and Live Oak Elementary also receiving a California Distinguished School Award this spring. We are most proud of the fact that Live Oak School District was the only school district in Santa Cruz County to be honored with the California Exemplary School District Award. It is my greatest intention to build on these achievements and that, together, we will continue to grow as a district, serving our students and the Live Oak community.
Throughout my 35 years in education, I have been fortunate to serve in a wide range of educational roles and settings from the elementary school to the university level. I’ve spent 10 years as a Bilingual Teacher and Instructional Coach; 10 years as a Site Administrator/Principal, 4 years as the Director of Teacher Education at UC Santa Cruz; 2 years as a Principal Coach with the New Teacher Center; and most recently, 6 years as a District Administrator, including serving as the Director of Equity and Leadership Development in the San Jose Unified School District, and subsequently, the Director of the Alisal Family Resource Center and Director of Curriculum and Instruction in the Alisal Union School District in Salinas. In these roles I have always strived to provide equitable opportunities for all students, regardless of their socio-economic status, personal circumstances, or primary language, and will continue to do so in my new role as superintendent.
I look forward with much anticipation to getting to know and collaborate with families and community partners in order to help further the district mission and goals. I intend to do this by:
- Cultivating a collaborative district culture committed to preparing students to make meaningful contributions in a rapidly changing world.
- Being present and engaged at school sites to help foster student learning.
- Continuing a district-wide focus on Growth Mindset for students, as well as adults, as we build our capacity to provide a high-quality 21st century education.
- Ensuring that every student matters. With a diverse community of learners, including students of different cultures, beliefs, English learners, students with disabilities, and LGBTQ students, it is essential that all students feel safe, know they belong and that they matter to each one of us.
I look forward to meeting those of you in Live Oak and the surrounding communities.