Submitted by Denair Unified School District
More than most school administrators, David Naranjo knows what it’s like to be a teen-ager struggling to make his way in high school. That empathy comes from personal experience. Naranjo was once a high school dropout himself. He has felt the uncertainty and the disillusionment, and sensed the lowered expectations that others have for teens in that situation.
And he’s living proof that there is a way out. That difficult family or financial circumstances or poor choices made as a teen don’t have to determine the rest of your life. There is hope.
As the new principal at Denair Charter Academy, Naranjo wants to be a role model for his independent study high school students, many of whom confront similar challenges as he once did growing up in San Diego County.
“I tell them, ‘I was a high school dropout,’ ” Naranjo said. “I had a tough family situation, but I went back and graduated from a continuation school. I started college when I was 23 and became a straight-A student.
“I was the first person in my family to graduate from high school or college. If I was going to break the cycle of not graduating, that was on me. I took it very seriously. That’s the example I want to set today for our students.”
Officially, Naranjo’s title is senior director of student support services. In addition to his duties at DCA, he will oversee various state-mandated responsibilities for all of Denair Unified’s four campuses. But much of his initial focus will be on the staff and students at DCA, which offers home-school options for parents of students up to eighth grade in addition to independent study for high schoolers.
Naranjo replaces Brian LaFountain at DCA. LaFountain moves across the street to Denair Middle School as principal.
Naranjo comes to Denair from the Tuolumne County Office of Education. His new role reunites him with Denair Superintendent Aaron Rosander. Naranjo was principal of Mariposa High School and Woodland Elementary School when Rosander was the schools superintendent in that county. Continue reading “New Principal Naranjo Brings Personal Experience to DCA; LaFountain Takes Over at Middle School” »