Over the summer, Glenwood Elementary saw a lot of changes, and I am not just talking about the new roof and carpeting. I’m talking about a new principal and a new teaching program! That principal is Principal David Gutierrez, and that teaching program is the Dual Language Immersion (DLI) program.
Principal Gutierrez came to the Robla School District from Fairfield-Suison Unified School District where he was the principal for B. Gale Wilson School, a K-8 Dual Immersion School and comprehensive middle school. With Glenwood introducing the DLI Program this year, Mr. Gutierrez’s knowledge and over 10 years’ experience in education will help that program grow and prosper.
When asked why he chose Glenwood Elementary and the Robla School District, he said, “I chose to come to Robla School District because I like the family-like environment, the strong connections to the community, and the great initiatives that are happening here.”
One of those great initiatives is the Dual Language Immersion Program. Starting this school year, two classes of 24 kindergarten students are spending 90% of their day being taught in Spanish. The remaining 10% in English. Each class has a balance of students who speak English or Spanish and learn to converse with each other in both languages. As the students’ progress through the grades and the program expands, the percentages eventually balance out and students are able to speak, read, and write in both English and Spanish. A monumental task and it appears Principal Gutierrez has it handled.
“As we begin our DLI program I hope that our students can enjoy the benefits of speaking two languages” Principal Gutierrez said. “This creates abilities, opportunities, and choices for our students to be competitive in a global economy.”
Aside from the DLI program, Principal Gutierrez likes to be in the mix of things. “As a principal, I am in classrooms 2 days of the week to help nurture the teaching and learning that happens in our school every day,” he said. “I believe to be an instructional leader you have to go where the game is being played.”
"He is really nice and checks on us," says Brianna, a sixth grade student at Glenwood. "Whenever he passes in the hallway, he says hi!"
Glenwood Elementary has such an amazing community, and with the highest Hispanic population in the Robla School District, Principal Gutierrez is looking to celebrate, promote, and advocate for the great things that the school is already doing. Increasing the school’s social media presence and communication with families has been another big focus of the new principal.
If you are not already done so, be sure you are following Principal Gutierrez on Twitter @SmoothEduc8er to get his latest updates!
When asked how he handles discipline, Principal Gutierrez said, “I believe in prevention over intervention. I believe discipline should be a learning opportunity and going through the process of Own it, Fix it, Learn from it. I believe all students can learn at high levels of rigor.”
"He's nice because he doesn't yell and he cares about the students," says Sharif, a fifth grade student at Glenwood. "He never interrupts the class."
Principal Gutierrez, we’ll be keeping an eye out on that amazing DLI program and Glenwood Elementary. Welcome to the Robla School District Family!
And for those wondering, Sarah Neuhaus, Glenwood's previous principal, is now the principal of Main Avenue Elementary, taking over for Ben Torrecampo, who moved to Taylor Street Elementary!