Contact Us
© 2022 Association of California School Administrators
Coral Godlis’ twin 5-year-old daughters started school last year at Cold Spring, where Godlis is the executive assistant to the superintendent.
Under pressure, Godlis gives her all
July 11, 2022
ACSA Administrators of the Year graphic.
Name: Coral Godlis Award: Confidential Employee of the Year Title: Executive Assistant to the Superintendent, Cold Spring School District ACSA highlights: Member since 2018.
Coral Godlis wears many hats in her small school district. In addition to her job as executive assistant to Superintendent/Principal Amy Alzina of Cold Spring School District, Godlis is the director of human resources and helps with payroll.
She does what she can to give back to Cold Spring School, where she herself was a student, during good times and bad. Godlis connected families with housing, food and counseling services during the Thomas Fire and Montecito debris flow incidents of early 2018. She helped Alzina contact every family to ensure they had a safe space to live and assisted teachers and staff with their materials when the school had to relocate campuses after mandatory evacuation orders. After schools closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, Godlis and Alzina created outdoor spaces for every teacher; as a result, Cold Spring School District became the first district in Santa Barbara County to return to in-person learning.
“If there were ever a personification of grace under pressure, it’s Coral,” said Jean Gradias, a STEAM teacher at Cold Spring School. “When unexpected situations arise, Coral makes the quick thinking and prioritizing needed to handle the office look effortless.”
What’s your favorite quote on leadership? “Failure to Prepare is Preparing to Fail.” — John Wooden
What’s the best advice you’ve been given? Don’t be afraid to fail. It is very liberating to take on this attitude! I don’t think I would be where I am today if my supervisors hadn’t given me the opportunity to take a chance.
What’s your best strategy for work/life balance? For me, work/life balance comes from enjoying my work. Cold Spring School District is a single-school district with 40 staff members and less than 200 students. We are a big family! Working with the students and staff is incredibly rewarding. I enjoy being here with the students, staff and families. We are a community! Spending quality time with my family is important to me and keeps me balanced. I have twin 5-year-old daughters who just began school at Cold Spring last year, and it is a joy to have them at school with me.
What are some life hacks that you would recommend for a new administrator? Build a good team, listen to your team, empower your team. Don’t forget the details, they matter! Be a problem solver.
What would people be surprised to learn about you? I love to roller skate. When I was a student at Cold Spring Elementary School, we were allowed to bring our roller skates to school and skate at recess. It was the best! I still roller skate to this day.
What made you want to become a school administrator? It wasn’t my plan to become a school administrator. About 10 years ago, I was looking for employment. I saw Cold Spring School, the elementary school I went to as a child, had an open position. Because my school experience was filled with magic, I wanted to be a part of that same community for the children to come. Fortunately, I was hired. I feel grateful to have the opportunity to work for the same small school district I grew up in as a child. Every day, I cherish the opportunity to make Cold Spring School special for every student.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome to get where you are? Since working at Cold Spring School District, we have been through a few major natural disasters. Our community has been evacuated during fires and floods. We have tragically lost students. We have been living in a pandemic. These disasters have greatly impacted our community and students. We have had to hold it together and be the support for our students and families during these difficult times. I feel as though these disasters have brought our community closer together. We have learned to persevere and know that if we are strong, we can accomplish anything.
How has ACSA supported you in your career/current position? ACSA is an incredible organization that advocates for children and supports the growth of administrators. Completing the ACSA Personnel Academy in 2019 connected me with other school administrators. The presenters during the Academy had a wealth of information. I still use many of the best practices I learned during the Academy, but it’s the past and current connections and relationships that I cherish most. We are in this together!
What new strategies are you using to ensure student success in the post-“return to school” period? Supporting the social-emotional needs of students and staff has always been a priority for me and for our district. I find myself taking more time throughout the day to check on the students’ and staff’s emotional needs and providing support by lending a listening ear and warm hug. It’s essential to make every member of the community feel valued and appreciated.
2022 Confidential Employee of the Year Coral Godlis.
2022 Confidential Employee of the Year Coral Godlis.
2022 Confidential Employee of the Year Coral Godlis.