Culver City Observer -

New Principal for La Ballona Elementary School


Luis Ramirez

Luis Ramirez will be the new Principal of La Ballona Elementary School.

The announcement by CCUSD also named Vanessa San Martin as CCUSD'S Director of Child Development.

Both appointments were approved unanimously by the CCUSD Board of Education on May 22. Ms. San Martin starts effective June 4; Mr. Ramirez begins effective July 24.

"Both Vanessa and Luis bring a wealth of experience and expertise to their positions. We are pleased to welcome them to the CCUSD family and look forward to the positive impact they will have on their school's students, parents and staff," said Superintendent Leslie Lockhart.

Mr. Ramirez spent 15 of his almost 30 years as an educator in Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District. He worked as dual language classroom teacher/Co-coordinator at John Adams Middle School, a high school advisor at Santa Monica high school, and an Assistant Principal at Grant Elementary and John Adams Middle School.

In South Los Angeles he opened a new public charter middle school for the Alliance for College Ready Public Schools. During his five years as founding principal, he grew the school's population from 97 students and five teachers to 460 students in grades 6-8, and a staff of more than 30 teachers and employees.

When Mr. Ramirez realized he missed the challenges of working within a unified school district, it led to his former position as Principal of Norma Harrington Elementary School, a STEAM school in the Oxnard School District. He supported Focus on the Masters, where students were introduced to local artists. He extended music for the lower grades, creating a music rotation for grades 2-5. He diligent worked with ELAC, PTA and a district survey to support parenting classes that focused on academics, and social emotional aspect of parenting. His school was one of three schools to increase in both ELA and Math based on the California Dashboard within the Oxnard School District. He has a degree in Mexican-American (Chicano) Studies and a master's degree in Educational Administration from California State University Northridge.

Ms. San Martin has worked with children, parents, staff, and nutritional services for over 14 years. She has extensive experience in High Scope curriculum, a comprehensive educational approach that emphasizes "active participatory learning."

Vanessa San Martin

Before joining CCUSD, Ms. San Martin served as an Early Education and Extended Program Supervisor at Glendale Unified School District, overseeing all preschool centers and seven school age centers. This included State Pre-School, Special Education Preschool, School Age Program, General Child Care, Recreational Afterschool Program and the Infant/Toddler Programs. She was instrumental in implementing the PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention and Support) and was credited with enhancing relationships between her department and special education by facilitating results-oriented meetings. Her experience includes the critical components of licensing, compliance, implementing best practices and proactively leading thought-provoking professional development sessions for her staff. Ms. Vanessa San Martin received both her bachelor's and master's degrees in Child Development/Early Childhood from University of La Verne.

"We are happy to welcome Ms. San Martin to the CCUSD Family of Schools and look forward to her sharing her passion and expertise in Early Childhood Education with us," said Jennifer Slabbinck, CCUSD's Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources.


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