My name is Alicia DeSantiago and I am the founding principal of our newest Aspire school, Aspire Arts & Sciences Elementary. Welcome to the Aspire family!
I have a long history with Aspire Public Schools. I have served as an ELA Coach, Sr. Content Specialist and Coach Manager as well as leading other trainings and initiatives. I love thinking about and implementing different and interesting ways that engage students in learning. While I am new to being a principal, I have worked alongside dozens of principals over the years and I’m thrilled for the opportunity to open our new school.
I come from a large family and have deep roots in Stockton. I was raised in the Corona Park neighborhood, near Edison High School. I attended UC Berkeley and graduated with a degree in fine art. I began teaching youth art classes right out of college. After trying a few other career options, I realized I missed working with students. I substituted in a Migrant Ed classroom and after a week became the full-time teacher. I continued teaching at the same school site but moved into a first-grade classroom. After a few years, I moved to the Bay Area to teach at the first charter school in CA, San Carlos Charter Learning Center. At SCCLC, I met a wonderful mentor and friend, who is a founding member of Aspire Public Schools.
My work with Aspire Public Schools has always focused on bringing access to students like myself, first-generation college kids. I believe each student, especially Latinx and African–American students should have the same type of education, one finds in an upper-middle-class neighborhood. Our students deserve the same educational experiences and opportunities!
One of the ways to enrich our school and the lives of our students is with an art and science focus. Part of the plan for this year is an art show, where all of the families and community can join us in celebrating our students’ artwork.
I look forward to meeting each of you very soon!