Sanchez pushes his students to achieve

September 21, 2020
Not only does Jose Sanchez believe in the success of all students, he encourages them to believe in themselves. Under his leadership, Del Puerto High School is one of the first continuation schools to become a member of No Excuses University, a network based around building a culture of universal achievement.  Students have been able to participate in college and career opportunities through field trips and career fairs, and Sanchez helped implement a positive reward system to recognize students for positive behaviors, which has led to an increase in student participation.  His focus is on academic interventions and addressing the achievement gap, as well as leadership development for staff, community relationships and school safety. The running club he began helps students support each other as they engage in physical activity.  What’s your favorite book on leadership?  “Failure is NOT an Option” written by Alan Blankenstein.  What’s your favorite quote about leadership?  “Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others, as what he does from day to day to lead himself.” — Thomas J. Watson What are some of your favorite apps?  My favorite apps are social media-based such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. These allow for opportunities to communicate with families and students as well as positive news about your organization.  What’s your best strategy for work/life balance?  Make time for yourself and include your loved ones in your activities. Take care of yourself so you can help others.  What are the top five life hacks that you would recommend for a new administrator?  1. Be honest.  2. Be proactive.  3. Lead by example. 4. Be visible.  5. Celebrate success. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome to get where you are?  The biggest challenge that I have overcome is leaving a comfortable environment to take on an advancement, but with new challenges. Going from a high-performing elementary school to an alternative setting was a challenge that I wanted to face.  What are you most proud of accomplishing?  My accomplishment I’m most proud of is being a new administrator at a new elementary school and building culture while increasing student achievement. Then, accepting a new challenge and going from a high-performing school to a low-performing, alternative education school. I’m proud of being able to establish a safe learning environment and high expectations for students and changing our community’s image about our school. Since coming to Del Puerto High School, we have been able to provide the students with resources, which include successful alumni to return and share their college/career experience. Decreasing the amount of discipline and severity of the problems to a minimum has been successful, as well as understanding the challenges our students face.  Who is someone who inspires you?  The people who inspire me the most are my parents. They have modeled a strong work ethic while overcoming obstacles. They came here at an early age to work in the agriculture fields of Salinas Valley so they could provide a better life and opportunities for my siblings and me. To this day, my parents encourage me to continue seeking opportunities, take on challenges and continue to demonstrate a great work ethic.    What’s your pre-game ritual to get ready for a big meeting or presentation?  Always discuss positive issues and recognize individuals for their achievements before a staff meeting, community presentation, etc.  What was the best ACSA event you’ve attended?  The monthly ACSA Region 7 breakfast meetings have been a valuable experience as we can collaborate with local leaders to learn and discuss important issues affecting public education.  How has ACSA supported you in your career/current position?  ACSA has supported me in being able to provide a forum to collaborate with other school leaders and be an advocate with our state government to continue to make public education a priority.   What bucket list item do you hope to accomplish this year?  I have completed two of the three Spartan Races needed to complete the Trifecta at the age of 41. Unfortunately, the most challenging race, The Beast was going to be held in March but was postponed until November.  What has the impact of the COVID-19 worldwide health crisis taught you/how has it inspired you as an educator? The biggest inspiration during this time is to continue to communicate with students and families regularly to inspire them to continue their learning and complete their tasks. Also, to provide some encouraging and familiar words of encouragement.  
Continuation/Educational Options Administrator of the Year Jose Sanchez created a running club at his school to encourage students to exercise and support one another.
Name: Jose Sanchez Award: Continuation/Educational Options Administrator of the Year  Title: Principal, Del Puerto High School, Patterson USD ACSA highlights: member since 2007; ACSA EMAD (Employees Making a Difference) committee (2018-19).
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