Ricardo Cabrera — Associate Superintendent of Human Resources
Associate Superintendent of Human Resources
Ricardo Cabrera discovered he wanted to be a teacher the summer before his sophomore year in college, when he spent five weeks working with migrant students on a college campus.
Mr. Cabrera had been a migrant student himself when he attended Fremont Elementary in the Alisal Union School District
“For five weeks I worked with middle school students to expose them to college, with the idea of putting in their minds: ‘this is what college looks like, this is what you can do in the future’,” he said. “I was able to work and interact with the students, and I decided I wanted to become a teacher.”
Mr. Cabrera switched his major at UC Davis, where he had been studying agronomy. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree, he attended UCLA to earn his teaching credential. He did his student-teaching work in South Central Los Angeles during the time when residents rioted after a jury acquitted four officers of the Los Angeles Police Department for using excessive force in the arrest and beating of Rodney King.
It was a time of demographic change in Los Angeles, as it was in many areas of the United States, and the district was looking for bilingual teachers. I was offered a job at the end of my student-teaching year. “However, the idea of staying in LA never crossed my mind. I said to myself, ‘If I’m going to become a teacher, I’m going to become a teacher in my community. That’s why I decided to come to Alisal High School.”
Mr. Cabrera was part of a cohort of about 5 to 6 teachers (Alisal High Alumni) who returned to Alisal High to help shape the next generation of students. They were all new to the profession and had a passion for working with youth. These young teachers taught in the day and after school were involved in a variety of extra-curricular activities including club sponsors, sports coaches, and class advisors.
“We did our best and got a lot of help from veteran teachers, many of us from the community. We became a support group for students and ourselves” he said. “It was extremely rewarding to see students excel academically and shape the school culture. Students revived clubs such as MEChA and started new ones, Expresión de Libertad.”
In 1998, Mr. Cabrera returned to the Alisal Union School District, this time as an administrator. He was the assistant principal of Virginia Rocca Barton for three years, moved on to Alisal Community School, where he was principal for five years, then to Frank Paul, where he stayed for six years. In 2011, Mr. Cabrera began working for the Human Resources department in the District office.
Currently, he serves as the Associate Superintendent of Human Resources.