Rossmoor resident Ondrea Reed says she’s ‘most definitely” ready for the challenge of running Francis Hopkinson Elementary School.
The 35-year-old educator was named the school's principal by the . With more than 11 years of experience in education, Reed has worked the past five years at the district and most recently as the assistant principal at McGaugh Elementary. Before joining Los Al in 2007, she taught elementary school in the ABC Unified School District.
Her favorite thing about teaching kids?
“It sounds cliché, but it is very rewarding,” Reed said. “When you walk into the room, they light up.”
She says she “fell in love” with the profession at San Diego State University. Reed was originally studying journalism and wanted to go into public relations.
Then she took an on-call job as a substitute teacher.
“I think seeing the (kid’s) capabilities, and the progress that kids can make in such a short period of time, it really engaged me,” Reed said. “It really made me feel like I could make a difference in that short period of time.”
“I had never experienced a feeling like that, and so it definitely made me want to come back the next day.”
After Reed received a bachelor of arts in journalism with an emphasis in public communication from San Diego State University, she went on to earn a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from California State University, Long Beach.
In the upcoming year, she said she plans to focus on the school’s “Mind” curriculum, an interactive mathematics program.
Before becoming Hopkinson principal, Reed served the Los Al district as the arts advantage coordinator, then the district program and assessment specialist, and finally the assistant principal of J.H. McGaugh Elementary School.
She likes snowboarding, loves Mexican food and her favorite smell is the beach.
She lives in Rossmoor with her husband Jason and her two children, five-year-old daughter Raegan and two-year-old son Jackson.
And while her career goals changed in college, she says, her entire life changed when she had her two children.
“You automatically have a different perspective on the world you live in” after becoming a parent, Reed says.
And, she adds, being a parent helps her better communicate with her students and their families.
“I think it’s made me a more empathetic listener,” Reed said. “I’ve always loved children and had respect for parents, but I think the saying ‘until you walked a mile in someone’s shoes” rings very true when it comes to the raising of children.”
As for her philosophy on teaching, Reed says it’s important for teachers and parents to never think that a student can’t reach their potential and to never set “any boundaries on what students can do or achieve or master.”
“I think you have to look at every student as this endless possibility,” Reed said.