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Association of California School Administrators
Association of California School Administrators
2021 Middle Grades Principal of the Year Lorianne
Middle Grades Principal of the Year Lorianne Ventura has attended multiple ACSA Academies to support the many roles she has held in education administration.
For Ventura, small changes make the biggest impact
June 28, 2021
Name: Lorianne Ventura Award: Middle Grades Principal of the Year Title: Principal, Cottonwood Creek School, Dublin USD ACSA highlights: member since 2006; Region 6 Comptroller, 2017-20; President Amador Valley Charter, 2019-Present.
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In just two years as principal of Cottonwood Creek Middle School in the Dublin Unified School District, Lorianne Ventura has created a vision for achievement.
This begins with ensuring that everyone — students, parents, teachers and the greater community — feels like they are connected, empowered and celebrated. It continues with a commitment to ongoing curriculum development, improving management and training processes for staff, and prioritizing student engagement, achievement and mental health, even during school closures.
In her more than 20 years as an educator, Ventura’s roles have included math teacher, director of assessment and planning, manager of Secondary Curriculum, Instruction and English Language Programs, and elementary principal. With each new endeavor and challenge, Ventura applies her extensive knowledge and experience, even while striving to learn more through ongoing trainings.
From bringing an AVID program to the school to starting a book club for staff, Ventura’s approach is that no action is too small to make a difference, and no problem is too big to undertake.
“Dr. Ventura is an advocate for all students, especially those who might otherwise be left on the margins of our public school system,” wrote Sheri Sweeney, director of Secondary Education at Dublin USD. “[She] is a credit to our profession.”
What’s your favorite book or quote on leadership? This quote has been meaningful to me this year: “It is not enough to say that we have arrived until we answer the question ‘Where and to what purpose?’” — Arthur H. Sapp
What’s your best strategy for work/life balance? Prioritize the people and things that matter. Everything else will fall into place. What are some life hacks that you would recommend for a new administrator? Seek input and feedback from different groups and perspectives throughout the decision-making process. Buy in and trust go a long way when staff, students and community members have voice and choice.
What would people be surprised to learn about you? I have two school-aged children and my husband is a teacher. At the end of the day and on my drive home I ask myself the same questions: Was the job I did today worthy of my children? Was the job I did today worthy of my husband? Would I as a community member stand behind my choices? Regardless of the outcome of any single event, if the answers are yes, it was a great day.
How has ACSA supported you in your career/current position? ACSA supported me within my current position and throughout my career by providing mentorship, access and opportunities to collaborate with colleagues within California, as well as professional learning opportunities through conferences, various trainings and Academies. I find great value in attending ACSA’s Leadership Summit, Academies and Region 6’s Leadership Summit and Equity Symposium. I am constantly using resources and information I gained from these events and academies to improve myself and my school.
What has the impact of the COVID-19 worldwide health crisis taught you/how has it inspired you as an educator? I learned two lessons during the COVID-19 health crisis: First is the importance of connecting with people and finding ways for people to connect with each other, whether virtually or in a drive-through event. Staying connected at every level of our school community helped build new relationships and create stronger ones. These connections helped create positive memories and kept us excited about education and the work we do. The second lesson I learned is the importance of moving forward regardless of the situation we find ourselves in. Being forward thinking, planning ahead and planning for the unknown allowed for more flexibility, adaptability and a sheer enjoyment in every moment and every experience over the past year.
2021 Middle Grades Principal of the Year Lorianne Ventura.
2021 Middle Grades Principal of the Year Lorianne Ventura.
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