Not only is this a new school year for Riverbank Unified School District but Mesa Verde Elementary has a new principal as well. Feeling welcomed with open arms is Manteca native Kim Ott, who has been a teacher and an administrator for several years.
“The staff here has been very welcoming, very supportive, and I feel like they are all here because they are invested in the children as well,” expressed Ott. “They want to see good things happen for kids. The teaching staff seems to be very committed to student learning and positive student outcomes.
“I hope I can support them in the way that they would like to be supported.”
Ott began teaching in Manteca in 1993 after she received her BA and teaching credentials from Stanislaus State. Not only was she a classroom teacher for a kindergarten through fifth grade school in Manteca for 10 years but she was also a read and recovery teacher, which was a first grade intervention program.
She has a Masters in Educational Leadership along with administrative credentials and spent 13 years with the San Joaquin County Office of Education where she administered a California Department of Education program for Region Six which includes five counties: Amador, Calaveras, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne.
“We started a program called the California Preschool Instructional Network,” explained Ott. “It really is an effort to provide staff training and best practices in early childhood which does include TK (transitional kindergarten).”
Missing the direct contact with the kids, when the position for Principal of Mesa Verde Elementary emerged Ott just had to research the opportunity. She drove out to the community and visited the school
“This was just a perfect fit,” added Ott. “I really feel that way. I think that I have a passion for learning and instruction. I always see myself as a teacher. I like interacting with the kids. I just enjoy being around them.”
This is her first experience as a Principal and she explained that her primary goal is to build relationships with the staff.
The beautiful school site that is well maintained was a noticeable factor for Ott as well as being aligned with the direction of the school district.
“I really like the vision of the superintendent and the assistant superintendent,” stated Ott. “I know that they have a passion for student learning and student progress. My time that I spent in the last several years in early childhood really gave me a bigger picture of school systems and I really believe that we are here not only to serve students but families as well.”