Principal's Message

It is my sincere pleasure and honor to be a member of this great school and community. While growing up in Mission Viejo, I had the opportunity to attend Cordillera Elementary, Los Alisos Intermediate, and graduate from Laguna Hills High School. Leading Santiago Elementary affords me the ability to give back to the community that instilled in me a love of learning and neighborhood pride.

I am a 19 year veteran educator. I began my career at Corona Avenue Elementary School for the Los Angeles Unified School District. While teaching for ten years in grades one through eight, I infused the arts and technology throughout the curriculum. I also had the pleasure of assisting teachers as their Instructional Literacy Coach for four years. From there, I moved my family to Sacramento to become an Assistant Principal for Greer Elementary and Starr King K-8 School. In 2014, I was hired as the Assistant Principal for Melinda Heights Elementary and the Principal for Trabuco Elementary. I believe my extensive knowledge and training in Balanced Literacy, Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop, Response to Intervention, Professional Learning Communities, PBIS, technology, and the arts will be an asset to Santiago Elementary.

As an educator, I have been awarded multiple grants to improve student achievement in science and technology. In 2010, I co-created the winning school proposal for Los Angeles Unified School District’s Jaime Escalante Elementary School. After completing my Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from California State University, Fullerton in 2012, I was thrilled to be asked to deliver the commencement speech for the College of Education.

I received my Bachelors Degree in Theater Arts from California State University, Fullerton and was the Executive Producer for two successful theatre companies in Southern California. I had the privilege of working with Pulitzer Prize winning Playwright Edward Albee, Tony Award winning Director Jose Quintero, and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

I, and my wife Christina, an educator, have been married for 19 years. We have a daughter, Cecilia, who's enjoying the eighth grade and is an avid reader and dancer.

I chose to become a teacher and parent so I could impact the lives of young people throughout the learning process. Being an administrator affords me the opportunity to support and nurture the reasons all of you have chosen to inspire and educate our young learners.

Mr. Johnston

Principal, Santiago Elementary

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