Dear Oka Students and Families,
It is with great honor, excitement and pride that I am joining the Oka team as the school's new principal! I feel so very fortunate for this opportunity to work, learn and grow with you and your family.
I would also like to take this opportunity to share a little bit about myself and my background in education. My husband, Mark, and I reside in Mission Viejo with our two children. My daughter, Lauren, just began her fifth grade year, and my son, Christian, began kindergarten. This summer, we chose to find the blessings in the pandemic and took several driving adventures to see the beauty of California - and to make memories together. I value the importance of community, family, and relationships. My family and I are truly excited to meet the children and families of this community, as we begin this journey together.
As an educator, I have had the honor of working with children for the past 22 years. My career began as a Reading Specialist, followed by a transition into the classroom as a Kindergarten and then a First-grade teacher. These incredible opportunities to educate both the mind and heart of children ignited my passion to enter educational administration. After earning my Masters of Art in Educational Administration, I began a new career as a middle school assistant principal and continued on to become an elementary school principal in Fountain Valley.
I understand that this is a unique time for a transition. Please know that the staff and I will continue to work together to create a seamless transition for our community. You have my commitment to keep your children safe, loved, and supported throughout this unique time. I am confident that together we will make a positive impact on the lives of our children. Please know that I am here to support you, and I will keep in constant communication to ensure that we are collectively doing everything we can to stay safe, connected, and inspired to learn and grow.
I am looking forward to an amazing year. GO WOLFPACK!
Julie Ballesteros (Mrs. B)
Oka Elementary School