Dear Camino Grove Students and Families,
It is my pleasure and honor to introduce myself as principal of Camino Grove Elementary School. Like you, I am a parent of Arcadia Unified School District. I have two boys, Brody and Ethan. Brody, a graduate of Arcadia High School, is currently an EMT and firefighter for Cal Fire. Ethan is an AHS freshman. Ethan plays baseball and thinks outside of the box. My boys push me to be curious, listen, and inquire about their world. My husband, Keven, is an Arcadian, born and raised in the area. He is proud to have his boys experience the legacy of excellence of AUSD.
I have been in education for over 23 years now. I started my teaching career as a Moorpark Unified School District kindergarten teacher. After seven years, I moved and evolved my career in Arcadia Unified School District through various capacities. At Camino Grove Elementary, I was a kindergarten and first-grade teacher, collaboratively designing opportunities for the primary students. Over time, I led the K-5 reading intervention program, where I worked with the grade-level teams and families to create further supports to target specific needs. After ten years at Camino Grove, I was positioned in Ed Services at the district office to support district-wide initiatives, values, and learning opportunities as an instructional coach.
Today, as the principal of Camino Grove, I will continue to support and advocate the reputation that this school community possesses, going above and beyond. When anyone steps on campus, a smile and a warm welcome ensure you matter. Relationships promote collaborative efforts and connections, making progress and growth a part of who we are.
As an advocate for education, I believe learning is a personal journey. It is critical for all learners (children and adults) to connect to the learning community and can share their personal stories, perspectives, and strategies. All learners must believe they can learn by utilizing their strengths while building capacity through iterative thinking. Finally, all learners should be empowered to identify, reflect, and take action toward the following questions: “where am I now?” “where do I need to go?” and “how will I get there?” Such beliefs foster conditions so lifelong learners can imagine, inquire, and inspire the unknown.
I am grateful to be a part of a caring community! During this school year, I look forward to connecting with past and incoming students and families. Parents, I am excited to learn with you and from you as we continue to ideate opportunities for our children. Students, I can’t wait for the school year and see the possibilities you create!
Renee Costarella, APU Doctoral Candidate
Camino Grove Elementary School