For Victoria Kubasak, working in the Saugus Union School District (SUSD) has always been a family affair.
The new North Park Elementary School principal has spent more than two decades in the district as a teacher, assistant principal and now principal.
But, as a student at Rosedell Elementary School and as an adult at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Kubasak did not know she wanted to pursue a career in teaching and administration.
“I decided to become a teacher my last quarter of college, I had been fighting it. My mom said she knew all along that I was going to be a teacher,” Kubasak said. “I was a communications major and I think that my bachelor’s in communication has served me incredibly well in teaching and administration.”
After graduating from UCSB, Kubasak attended California State University, Northridge to earn her teaching credential while she worked as a manager at Saugus Drugs.
In addition to living and working in the Saugus community, Kubasak completed her student teaching in SUSD, which confirmed her desire to return to her home district.
“I always had great relationships with my teachers growing up, and I think that’s one of the most important things a teacher can do is build that relationship with their students, so I always had a positive connection with the district,” she said. “It was the only district I applied to. I figured if I couldn’t get a job in the Saugus District that I would continue working at Saugus Drugs and try again.”
But, Kubasak was offered a teaching job at Mountainview Elementary and shortly after her now husband Glen Kubasak was offered a teaching position at Rosedell Elementary, Victoria’s former elementary school.
“He’s been in the district for 20 years and I’ve been here for 24. We’re lifers,” she said.
Throughout the years Kubasak has seen the district change as she worked alongside former teachers who later retired and as she currently works with former students she knew from Mountainview.
“It’s really cool to see them come back and pursuing education as well,” she said.
And now, one of her two daughters, a senior at Saugus High School, is also hoping to follow the “family business” and become a history teacher at Saugus High School.
“She couldn’t deny it, at least she figured it out before me,” Kubasak said. “She also wants to be an administrator eventually.”
During her 21-year tenure as a first, second and third grade teacher at Mountainview, Kubasak knew she wanted to pursue a position in administration as an assistant principal and principal.
“I actually got my administrative credential my third year of teaching,” she said. “I knew it was probably an eventuality, but I waited 18 years after my credential because my master’s thesis was on principal effectiveness and there’s a correlation between the number of years you’ve been teaching in the classroom and how effective you are as an administrator. So I didn’t rush to get here, plus I love teaching.”
As she takes on her new role as principal, Kubasak said she hopes to implement the Positive Behavior Inventions and Support (PBIS) standards, which teaches disciplines through alternative methods of behavioral instruction.
“The whole district is implementing it and it’s really taking a look at the misbehavior that’s happening, whether it’s in the yard or in the classroom,” she said. “It’s really explicitly teaching our expectations and then acknowledging when students follow through with what we’re expecting them to do.”
Kubasak also hopes to increase the school’s performance in reading and math and ensuring that all students are successful.
“North Park is an excellent school and I want to maintain that excellence and continue to move us forward,” she said.
On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_