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Rafael Zavala

Ed.M., MA

August 6, 2021

Dear Sakamoto Elementary School Families:

Welcome back from summer break! I am so excited to be the new principal at Sakamoto Elementary School!! I am looking forward to meeting all of you, and listening and learning more about our Sakamoto Community.

A little about me; I grew up in a farming community outside of Soledad. My parents were farmworkers in the Salinas Valley. A first-generation college student, I attended Santa Clara University, and went on for master’s degrees at Saint Louis University and Harvard. My passion for education comes from an ardent belief that education transforms lives. I became a teacher in 2002 at my alma mater elementary school; trained to be a teacher by my teachers. I have not left education since then.

I am excited to continue making Sakamoto a respectful, responsible and caring community. To achieve this goal, in the following weeks, I will be inviting community stakeholders, stuff and students to meet with me. With your feedback, I will create a 100 day plan, with actions that are important to continue growing our respectful, responsible and caring community.

The purpose of the “hit the ground learning and listening tour” is to build deep trust and lasting relationships, to understand all facets of the Sakamoto community, and engage all stakeholders in collaborative planning. These are the three stages of the plan:

In closing, I am looking forward to meeting each of you. Thank you all for your support. Together we will continue building a respectful, responsible and caring community.


Rafael Zavala, Ed.M., MA

Sakamoto Elementary