Leveraging Student Voice & Engaging Every Learner
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM | Wednesday, Jan. 30
De Anza Foyer, Monterey Conference Center
Marci McFadden – Chief of Communications, Monterey Peninsula USD
Penelope DeLeon – Superintendent, Oxnard Union High SD
Joseph Sampson – Principal, Ord Terrace Elementary School
Sachi Takahashi-Rial – Manager of Partnerships, YouthTruth
About the session
We know that school climate (CA State Priority 6) is key to moving the needle on student achievement. But we need to transform “school climate” from being an elusive intangible to becoming a strategic lever for improvement. How do we identify student groups that have less positive experiences in school, whether it’s with teacher relationships, bullying, or adult expectations? Unpacking school climate gaps helps us target resources, and build connections with our most vulnerable learners. You’ll hear from superintendents, district leaders, and school leaders about how they establish systems to connect every student to a positive and engaging school climate.
About the speakers
Marci McFadden is the Chief of Communications and Engagement for the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District, where she oversees the district’s internal and external communications. Prior to serving at MPUSD, she was the communications officer for the Monterey County Office of Education for three years. Before re-locating to the Central Coast, McFadden served seven years as marketing director for the California School Boards Association. She teaches statewide on communications to members of the California Association of School Business Officials and the Association of California School Administrators. A product of the California State University system, McFadden holds her bachelor’s degree in speech communication and a master’s degree in public policy and administration from CSU, Long Beach. She and her husband Brett, superintendent of the Nevada Joint Union High School District, have two sons – Jack (20) and Ryan (17) – products of the public school system..
Dr. DeLeon is the Superintendent of Oxnard Union High School District, a district nestled in Southern California. Prior to this role, she served as the Chief of Secondary Schools for the Fontana Unified School District since July 1, 2014. In that position, she led the district’s efforts to improve secondary student performance through the alignment of site-based professional development with the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), the development of college and career pathways, and the establishment of programs and strategies which promote equity and access for all students. As a public school educator for nearly 23 years, primarily at the secondary level, Dr. DeLeon served as a high school teacher, assistant principal, principal, Secondary Instructional Specialist and Director of Professional Development, Assessment and Evaluation, before becoming Chief of Secondary Schools. She also serves as a delegate to the College Board Academic Assembly. Throughout her career, she has worked to close the achievement gap by nurturing strong parent and community engagement, while promoting a culture of collaboration, support and collegiality for all stakeholders. Dr. DeLeon earned her doctorate in organizational leadership from the University of La Verne, as well as master’s degrees in secondary education and educational administration, and recently completed the Stanford Program for Educational Leaders. She has also been certified as a leadership coach by the Association of California School Administrators and holds a School Business Management Certificate.
Joseph Sampson serves as the principal of Ord Terrace Elementary in Seaside, California. Ord Terrace was the first school in Monterey County to implement Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), and Joe’s team works to continue to strengthen this program through culturally responsive practices. Ord Terrace provides a positive learning environment, establishes high expectations, and works collaboratively with each other, families, and the community to ensure all students achieve academic success and demonstrate social responsibility, civic engagement, and contribute to positive social changes.
Sachi Takahashi-Rial, Manager of Partnerships, coaches school and district leaders across the country through the process of interpreting and using student and stakeholder feedback to accelerate improvements. A dynamic presenter who uses humor and data to engage and inspire educators of all levels, she has presented at such conferences as the School Superintendents Association (AASA) National Conference on Education, High Tech High’s Deeper Learning conference, and the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Superintendents Symposium. Before joining YouthTruth, Sachi worked at the school, district, and state levels in San Jose, Boston, Washington DC, and North Carolina. In these roles, she ran afterschool programs, led a team of City Year Americorps Members, and researched local and state assessments. Sachi received her MPP from Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy and her BA in Economics from UC Berkeley.