Two Chino Valley Unified School District administrators have been named tops in their field by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Region 12.
Mary Salcido, Chino Valley Unified School District’s (CVUSD) Director of Access and Equity, has been named a co-recipient of the Curriculum & Instruction Administrator of the Year Award by ACSA Region 12. Walnut Avenue Elementary School Principal Karen Morales will receive ACSA 12’s Wilson A. Grace Award that exemplifies the ideals and accomplishments of former San Bernardino Principal Wilson Grace in his unique efforts in professional leadership.
The two CVUSD administrators and 10 others from San Bernardino and Riverside counties will be honored at ACSA’s Spring Celebration/Administrator Awards Dinner, April 20 in San Bernardino.
Salcido has been an educator since 1976, beginning as an instructional aide in the Montebello Unified School District. She became a teacher in 1990 and worked initially in the West Covina Unified and Rowland Unified school districts. She also served as an assistant principal for the Corona-Norco Unified School District and the Ontario-Montclair School District. She served as an elementary principal in the Whittier City School District for 14 years.
She joined CVUSD in the 2014/2015 school year as Director of Access and Equity, which oversees English Language Learner and parent engagement programs.
“Because of my passion for students who are living in poverty and for those learning English, I have given all my efforts to those programs in Chino Valley Unified School District,” Salcido said. “The position is what enticed me to the District because ensuring that students have access to graduation provides equity.”
She was nominated for the ACSA 12 award by Wickman Elementary School Assistant Principal Trevor Carenzo and Ramona Junior High Assistant Principal Ryan Candelaria.
“Her innate ability to build relationships with District administrators is only rivaled by her determination to play a positive role with them,” the assistant principals said in the nomination application. “She works with principals to develop site plans that clearly support learning by making sure that funds are directed towards ideas that not only help intervention programs, but also push students towards enrichment curriculum and professional development for teachers who will implement these programs.” They also commended her for aiding the District in understanding both state and federal compliance concerns. “One of her greatest contributions to this, is her monthly compliance checklists that she has created for each school site,” the assistant principals said.
Salcido also works closely with the District’s Curriculum, Innovation, Instruction, and Support department to ensure that the District’s diverse students have their needs met, by approving and reviewing language development tools, curriculum, and other tools for students, the assistant principals said.
While working with West Covina Unified, Salcido participated in a collaboration with the Boys and Girls Club. She was also involved in a mentor program at Whittier High, and was named Los Angeles County Office of Education Administrator of the Year. She has completed three ACSA academies, and is currently an ACSA Administrator Coach for three candidates.
Salcido is a resident of West Covina, is married and has three children and three grandchildren.
Morales has been an educator for nearly 31 years. She began her career in South Whittier. She later taught as a bilingual teacher, in kindergarten and first grade for Bassett Unified School District.
In 1991, she joined CVUSD as a first grade teacher at Walnut Avenue Elementary School, where she also served as an intervention teacher, assistant principal, and as principal for the last two years. She was an assistant principal at Glenmeade Elementary School in Chino Hills for one year before returning as principal at Walnut Avenue.
“I always knew I wanted to be a teacher since I was in elementary school,” Morales said. “My third grade teacher had a huge impact on my life. She reached out to my family during a time of need and she did it with such compassion and true concern that the event has stayed with me my whole life, and it has shaped the way I have relationships with my families. I am passionate about education and I don’t take my responsibilities lightly. I enjoy helping people and find satisfaction in knowing that I can make a difference in a student’s life.”
Walnut Avenue Elementary Assistant Principal Michael C. Rodriguez, who nominated Morales for the ACSA award, said the principal frequently involves special education students into mainstream general education functions, she attends family gatherings with families of different cultures, and calls parents to offer referrals to social services.
Morales recently volunteered the school to be a pilot campus for the County of San Bernardino School Wide Positive Behavior Support System that awards schools for their level of effectiveness in creating and implementing behavior systems. “She is constantly leading the charge on major issues not only affecting our school, but schools within the entire district,” Rodriguez said in the nomination application.
Morales has also motivated teachers and students to meet academic goals that have not been met for several years, Rodriguez said.
Morales oversaw Walnut Avenue Elementary School’s recent 50th anniversary celebration as if she was “celebrating her parent’s anniversary,” Rodriguez said. The principal purchased commemorative water bottles for each student with her own money for the event, and is also donating a gift card every month for a student attendance campaign.
Morales is a Chino resident. She and her husband have been married 30 years and have three grown children who all attended CVUSD schools. Her oldest son is a biology teacher and head track coach at Chino Hills High. Her daughter is a behavioral therapist, and her youngest son works in the family business.