Growing up in a farm town in Central California and being the first in her family to graduate from a university, Esther Perez, Ed.D. always understood education was a gateway to open doors, overcome obstacles, and achieve your dreams. “I always wanted to help people, and I saw education as the best way to set you free and to get out of poverty,” Perez explains. She’ll be bringing that positive outlook as the new Executive Director of Natomas Unified School District’s New K-12 Virtual Academy that will launch fall 2021. The academy is an innovative option for students to learn, thrive, and excel in a virtual environment.
After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego, Perez began her career in education as a teacher in Los Angeles. She taught multiple subjects in a special day class setting. After obtaining a masters degree in Special Education from Loyola Marymount University (LMU), she became a Resource Specialist. After nearly 10 years of teaching, she then took on roles such as Assistant Director at the college level helping new teachers earn their credentials and as a faculty member. Her most recent position includes Principal of a K-8 school in Stockton and Executive Director & Principal of a College Preparatory Charter School, where she is accredited for helping to turnaround the once struggling charter school and for it becoming one of the highest performing charter middle schools in the city.
As the new Executive Director of the NUSD Virtual Academy, she hopes to improve the educational outcomes of all students through instructional experiences, collaboration, dialogue, and reflection.
Her favorite pastime is spending time with her dogs, gardening, and listening to a variety of music. She is honored and thrilled to join the Natomas Unified family.
To learn more about the new Virtual Academy and/or submit an interest form for your student to attend the Virtual Academy or attend an information meeting, visit https://staging.natomasunified.org/virtual-academy/.