Message From The Principal

September 22, 2017

Dear Pony Express Community and Staff,

It is with much enthusiasm and great pleasure that I introduce myself as the new principal of Pony Express Elementary School. This year marks my 20th year in education and without a doubt I can say that I have had the greatest honor to serve public schools in many capacities: from a bilingual aid to an Assistant Principal. I am confident that my skills, expertise, and dedication at all K-12 levels will add value to the students, teachers, and the community at large of Pony Express.

Working as a bilingual instructional assistant and translator for four years primarily at the elementary level within San Juan Unified School District, teaching mathematics at Sutter Middle School for almost 16 years while being the math department chair from 2004-2011, and being an Assistant Principal at McClatchy High School since November of 2015 – all these experiences provided me with a perspective that will allow me to work closely and collaboratively with students, teachers, parents, and the community in establishing the best and safest learning environment. These involvements have enabled me to build and maintain positive relationships that resulted in extraordinary success for both students and teachers.

Over the past two years I have served as one of the Assistant Principals at McClatchy High School. I have been working closely with the Mathematics and Foreign Languages departments to realign the curriculum to the Common Core and modify instructional practices so that students can cognitively engage with the various contents. I have suggested the promotion of more opportunities for academic conversations among students and I was pleasantly surprised to see a shift in teaching from procedural to conceptual, from direct instruction to facilitating learning. The results were remarkable with many more students passing the Integrated Math and Spanish courses than in previous years.

I believe in collaborative leadership, strategic planning, empowering teachers to develop their own leadership and instructional skills, by coming together weekly to plan, analyze best instructional practices, evaluate students’ work, and design common assessments to positively affect change in students’ academic behavior. I believe in treating everyone with fairness and respect; in maintaining a safe environment for learning; in promoting student achievement by making learning the top priority; in creating a shared vision and in evaluating instructional practices; in analyzing multiple data in order to monitor progress and guide instruction; and in collaboratively designing, guiding, and leading professional development.

I am convinced that my dedication and passion for education coupled with strong interpersonal skills and a desire to make a difference and provide a strong foundation at the elementary school level will serve me well at Pony Express. I am guided by the belief that all children have the right to learn, and knowing that no one can succeed alone, am prepared to lead this neighborhood elementary school in an effort to optimize learning, while maintaining a high level of accountability for students and teachers alike.

As I make this transition to Pony Express, I am aware of the anticipation and eagerness that accompanies a change in leadership. I know that with change come both excitement and anxiety. It is my goal to spend the first several months observing and learning about our school and all of its stakeholders. After two decades in education I come to believe that the fundamental ingredient for success is building solid relationships with students, teachers, and families. I eagerly anticipate getting to know Pony community and beginning to serve all of you.

What an honor it is for me to have been selected as your new principal. Do know that nothing gives me greater satisfaction than to serve others. I promise I will work hard to gain the trust and respect of the entire Pony Express community and to fully understand and appreciate the programs that have been built so I can continue to nurture and expand them. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions, concerns, or ideas you would like to share.

In partnership,

Gino Dobrescu