Dear Jefferson Parents and Families,

I am truly honored to serve as the new Principal of Jefferson Elementary School. I am both excited and humbled to join your community and to have the wonderful opportunity to contribute to the learning journey of our students. Until we have the opportunity to personally meet, I would like to share a little background about myself.

Prior to my appointment at Jefferson, I served as elementary school Principal for almost three years in Jurupa Valley near Riverside, CA. My prior administrative positions included four years in Woodinville, WA and one year as an assistant principal in Sammamish, WA. I worked as a teacher assistant in Kindergarten for three years, and have taught first, fourth, fifth, and sixth grade. I thoroughly enjoy working with all grade levels. They challenge and enrich my learning in different ways. I have extensive experience working with students and families of all backgrounds, and am trained and have successfully worked with students with special needs, English language learners, and those with social/behavioral challenges. I am passionate about kids and strive to bring out their personal best. As principal, you will see that I enjoy spending time with students and teachers in the classrooms, playground, and even on the buses. I look forward to see you around our schoolhouse as well.

On a more personal note, I was born in Cambodia and my family immigrated to Santa Ana when I was a toddler. We moved more than 15 times all over southern California, including a short stint at Juarez Elementary and Katella High school. We moved to Washington State my freshman year and 20 years later, I returned home to SoCal. Education was pivotal in helping my family escape poverty. My parents raised me and my five siblings with three core values: seek wisdom, work hard, love people. I summarize these values with 3 H’s: Head, Hand, Heart. These three values have led me to dedicate my life to education. Also, I am recently engaged to an amazing woman, Tanisha, and her home in Irvine is what prompted my move to the OC from the Inland Empire. I enjoy horseback riding, traveling, outdoor activities, movies, any food, and all sports. I am often found on the basketball court.

I am eager to meet each of you and learn more about the wonderful Jefferson community. I look forward to carrying on the great Jefferson traditions as well as having a role in creating new and meaningful learning opportunities and positive memories for students and adults alike. Ongoing and consistent communication is very important to me, so please expect to hear from me in the coming weeks about meet and greet opportunities. I am excited to begin this work alongside the Jefferson staff and families!

Warmest Regards,

Kosal Chea