OCEANSIDE — An Oceanside principal who always strives to be present for his community and put his students first has been named top principal for the region.
Earlier this year, the Association of California School Administrators chose Cesar Mora, principal of Libby Elementary, Principal of the Year for Region 18, which includes San Diego and Imperial Counties.
Mora is one of 19 principals across the state to receive the recognition.
Mora first started as a bilingual teacher at Lincoln Middle School in Oceanside in 1996. From there, he went on to serve as assistant principal at Oceanside High School, then served as assistant principal at Cesar Chavez Middle School when it first opened just over a decade ago.
Following Chavez Middle School, Mora became principal at Libby Elementary and has been there for the last nine years – and he doesn’t have any plans to leave anytime soon.
“I really like the community I’m serving,” Mora said.
Mora strives to make sure his students receive “top-notch” education by removing any barriers or obstacles they may encounter. He is particularly excited about Libby becoming one of four “community schools” in the district, which is a new type of programming that brings various community agencies into the school to assist in providing mental, social and emotional, and physical needs for the school’s families.
“We want to be a central hub for our neighborhood,” Mora said.
One example of this is a recent vaccination event that the school hosted through a partnership with Vista Community Clinic.
“Bringing agencies onto our campus to provide services identified by our own parents and staff is a way to provide maximum support,” Mora said.
In May, the school plans to invite the clinic back to provide dental services for families as well.
Going forward, Libby Elementary will soon hold another community schools meeting where parents can put forward what they would like to see the school do during the summer break months.
Oceanside Unified administrators nominated Mora for the title of Principal of the Year last year, citing his “student-centered vision” over the last several years.
“Principal Mora promotes the success of all students by establishing the school as the hub of the community,” wrote Asst. Superintendent Mercedes Lovie in Mora’s nomination application. “Throughout the last two years, Mr. Mora’s school has been a key location for food distribution, Covid-19 testing, device deployment, and child care. Mr. Mora’s school more than others has provided these supports.”
This is Mora’s first award after 26 years of working for the district and serving his community.
“I’m honored that people recognize my work, believe in the work I do and have the same similar ideology of putting kids first and providing optimal learning,” Mora said.