2nd Year as Norte Principal
5 Years as Principal
3 Years as an Assistant Principal
6 Years as Teacher
This is Mr. Emery’s second year serving Rio students as principal of Rio Del Norte Elementary School. Before working in Rio he served as principal for Alice C. Stelle Middle School in Calabasas, California, as well as working as assistant principal of curriculum and instruction. He also worked as a teacher of math and business education and track and field coach.
Mr. Emery earned a Bachelor’s degree in Aviation Management from Auburn University where he attended on a Track and Field Scholarship and was Captain of the Auburn University Cross Country and Track and Field Programs. Mr. Emery has earned multiple master’s degrees in the fields of Sports Marketing/Promotions, Business Education and Educational Leadership. He is currently in the final phase of a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and is scheduled to defend his dissertation in April. Mr. Emery’s research is in the field of Social and Emotional Learning and analyzes the impact academic success has on student well-being and the impact SEL curriculums have on student well-being.
Mr. Emery brings a diverse set of experiences as an educator and person to the role of school leadership. He knows deeply the value that educational opportunities and achievements can have in a person’s life. One recent innovation at Rio Del Norte Elementary School is a campaign to have children and families think of themselves as college going learners. This has taken a variety of forms and has connected the campus’ excellent school climate to literacy development initiatives and the growth of high expectations for all learners. Mr. Emery may be running less marathons these days in terms of road races but he is actively engaged in the ultimate marathon of transforming community through educational opportunities.
We asked Mr. Emery the following three questions and his responses follow each;
- What do you think matters most to children when they attend school?
School connection is an important element to a student’s learning environment and desire to attend school. I firmly believe as educators, it is our job to instill a sense of “hope” in our students and support them academically, socially and emotionally. Much of my doctoral research has been centered upon creating a positive and safe learning environment by supporting the growth of the whole child. Ensuring students grow academically and emotionally is a goal of each and every day. Making the most of the school hours has an impact on a student achieving academic success. Students want and deserve to feel a sense of success and as educators our job is to provide them with a school culture that supports students taking ownership in their learning and achieving academic success.
- How has your leadership changed over time and experience?
My leadership has changed immensely over the years. In the beginning of my leadership journey as a school administrator, I thought it was our job to always have the answers and to ensure the school is headed in a positive direction. This sense of leadership focused immensely on only the achievements of the school. However, as time has evolved I have grown and transformed myself into a Charismatic Leader which consists of transformative, servant and authentic leadership. I believe as a leader it is important to procure staff and students have everything they need to support the academic growth of the school.
As a servant leader, I have learned to put the needs of others before myself and always strive to support the school culture in a positive way. I firmly believe you need to use the team to move the team. Empowering teachers as professionals and providing autonomy to their craft is at the root of what I firmly believe.
I have also grown to learn that as a leader you not only need to support the academic and emotional growth of the school but you have to support the growth of the extended community as a whole. Supporting the needs of the community and the culture around the school is critical in building a community-centered learning environment. I also believe the leader needs to support the leadership growth of the team and provide staff members with opportunities to grow in the form of grassroots leadership.
- What has working in schools meant to you in terms of your own development as a person, husband, father, and citizen?
Working in schools has been one of the biggest enjoyments in my life. I believe education is power and by providing students with an exceptional education experience, you are providing students with the power and hope to achieve at a higher level. Working as an administrator in the Oxnard community has been the greatest experience of my educational leadership career. I am continuously amazed by the resilience of our community and it has instilled my growing passion for social justice, equity and access. I strive to advocate for others each and every day and to use my position to open doors and create opportunities for others. The Rio Del Norte Elementary learning community, much like the overall learning community of our district, is rich in passion and innovation.
I take pride in using my position to advocate for students and the community at large. Working within the Rio School District has supported me in my growth as not only a leader but also as a husband, father and a citizen. I believe everyone has a calling to do more: more for the community, more for their family and more in the growth of education. I am grateful each and every day for the opportunity to work for such a wonderful community.