Conejo Valley USD Principal Honored by the CALSA as 2016 Administrator of the Year

Conejo Valley USD Principal Honored by the California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators as 2016 Administrator of the Year

Juan Manuel Santos, Ed.D., a veteran educator and principal at Maple Elementary School in Newbury Park, California, was named 2016 Administrator of the Year by the California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators (CALSA). Santos was awarded $10,000 through a sponsorship by national K-12 publisher Mentoring Minds and its partnership with CALSA. Santos was honored at a special ceremony during CALSA’s annual Summer Institute, held from July 18-21 in San Jose, California.

“Through his passion for excellence in education, his service-centered commitment to community and tireless mentorship and leadership, Dr. Santos embodies all of the qualities of an outstanding administrator,” said David Verdugo, Ed.D., executive director, CALSA. “It is an honor to partner with Mentoring Minds on this initiative and to extend our congratulations to Dr. Santos for this outstanding achievement.”

Teachers at Maple Elementary School, recognized as a 2016 California Gold Ribbon School, praised Santos as a dynamic principal who employs a hands-on approach and is committed to helping students from all backgrounds achieve academic success. Santos credits CALSA for its ongoing support of administrators through innovative programming and mentorship.

“CALSA provided me with numerous opportunities, from leadership, networking, mentorship and much more, and I will always be grateful for the avenues it opened for me,” said Santos. “To receive this recognition from an organization as prestigious as CALSA is an honor and privilege and one for which I am grateful. I look forward to continuing to work with this incredible organization and sharing what I have learned with educators across the state of California.”

The 2016 Mentoring Minds Administrator of the Year Award honors an exceptional leader in education for outstanding contributions to a school or district. While CALSA has previously offered scholarships to administrators to help further their continuing education and professional development, this is the organization’s first award dedicated to celebrating the achievements and impact of a sitting administrator.

The inaugural scholarship award offers one administrator $10,000 to be used toward personal growth, student scholarships, or a charity of their choice. Applicants must be a current CALSA member in good standing and a sitting superintendent, deputy superintendent, chief academic officer, chief business officer, or principal. A comprehensive nomination form must be submitted detailing demonstrated success as a site or district administrator with clear student outcome criteria such as increased graduation rates and improved reading scores. The successful applicant must also show an ongoing commitment to professional growth and support for CALSA’s mission.

“Dr. Santos’ dedication to excellence is a true inspiration,” said Robert Bush, CEO, Mentoring Minds. “Mentoring Minds is honored to partner with CALSA to recognize exceptional administrator, Juan Manuel Santos, as the first ever Mentoring Minds Administrator of the Year,” said Robert L. Bush, CEO, Mentoring Minds.

After serving as principal of Maple Elementary School for four years, Santos was recently promoted to director of student support services for Conejo Valley Unified School District.

The California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators (CALSA) is a professional association of diverse educational leaders skilled in addressing the needs of Latino/a students and dedicated to increasing the number of highly effective Latino/a administrators. CALSA advocates for the ongoing development and placement of Latino educational leaders who are committed to quality public education.

About Mentoring Minds, the Critical Thinking for Life company
Mentoring Minds is a national K-12 publisher with a mission to put critical thinking at the center of the classroom in order to support student achievement and empower educators to teach to higher standards. Mentoring Minds’ award-winning, research-based resources are designed to be flexible for classroom needs, supporting technology integration and standards mastery for Math, ELA, and Science. Mentoring Minds’ commitment to education extends beyond the classroom, as well; the company proudly sponsors groundbreaking administrators across the nation and supports community-based education initiatives through MindShare, an employee-driven grant program. For more information, call 800-585-5258 or



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