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RLA Principal Draws Parent Support
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New Riverbank Language Academy (RLA) principal Dr. David Austin has drawn strong support from many parents in the few months since he took over the position at RLA. But they fear he faces some criticism from the board.

His first evaluation is due next week when the Riverbank Unified School District Board will meet on Tuesday, April 17 and the RLA Board the following day on Wednesday, April 18. Both meetings start at 5:30 p.m. and both are at the district offices at 6715 Seventh St., just south of the city tennis courts and Adelante High School.

The district has set aside a time for RLA parents to voice their opinion, said parent Maile (Araceli) Delgado, and she encourages parents that care for their children's future and also students to attend both these meetings and express their support for Austin.

He has been a principal of various schools for 24 years and a director of a dual language school just like RLA. He believes in one school rule, respect for oneself and respect for others, Delgado added, and said he believes all students can learn and works hard to achieve that goal.

Projects he has initiated include the University Club that aims to have local eighth graders tour leading colleges in the state; former astronaut Dr. Jose Hernandez's recent visit to address grade and middle school students here; the Lemonade Project slated for May and calculated to teach children the rudiments of running a business; and a visit with new teachers and parents to the recent California Association for Bilingual Education conference.

"He walks the school grounds and interacts with students," said Delgado. "He enters the classrooms and observes our teachers' techniques...He has organized field trips and incentives for the children that motivate them to excel in the classroom and in life."

His ultimate goal, she added, is to win a California Distinguished School title for RLA It would be the first such honor bestowed on a dual language immersion charter school.