Salinas City Elementary School District are pleased to announce our Administration appointments and updates for the 2019-20 academic school year.

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Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services

It is our pleasure to announce Dr. Daisy Morales as the Salinas City Elementary School District Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services.

Dr. Morales believes in serving people, building trust, and fostering collaboration to shift the climate and culture of organizations in order to implement strategies that have transformative results. She is a strong believer in building capacity, coaching others, and encouraging people to build off their strengths to develop and grow their leadership potential.

Dr. Morales received her Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish with a minor in business administration from San Jose State University. Prior to entering education, she was a controller and CFO of a non-profit organization where she developed her expertise in systems management, as well as fiscal processes. When returning to education, Dr. Morales earned a Master’s Degree in Education with a focus on Curriculum and Instruction, as well as her Multi-Subject BCLAD Credential from San Jose State University. As a teacher, she has taught a second/third combo class, fifth grade, seventh grade history, and various levels of high school Spanish. As an administrator, she has served in various capacities including Curriculum and Accreditation Director, English Language Development Coordinator, Vice-Principal, Principal, and Director of

English Language Learner Services and Migrant Education. Most recently, she was the Director of Leadership Development.  She earned her  doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership from Brandman University with a focus on engaging our human resources in change processes in order to have educational reform implementation that is transformational. Dr. Morales is an active member of the California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators (CALSA) and is the current President-Elect. She has participated in the CALSA mentorship program as both a protégé and mentor. Dr. Morales is also active in the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS), where she currently graduated from their Superintendent Leadership Academy. She resides in San Jose with her two grown children, where she enjoys cooking and hosting family/friend gatherings. 

Her calling and purpose is to inspire, mentor, and coach others to become the best version of themselves by reflecting on their practices, embracing change, and continuing to grow in order to increase educator effectiveness and achieve success for every student.

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Director, Special Education

It is our pleasure to announce Katie Balesteri as the Salinas City Elementary School District Director of Special Education.

Mrs. Balesteri began her career in education 20 years ago at Natividad Elementary as a bilingual kindergarten teacher.  Since then she has supported our SCESD community as a classroom teacher, program manager for after school and enrichment programs, Vice Principal at Sherwood Elementary and as Principal at Loma Vista Elementary.  Katie believes that there is nothing better than working with a team to help improve student outcomes.  She is looking forward to developing relationships within school teams and throughout the district to help best serve our students with disabilities. 

While at Loma Vista, Mrs. Balesteri and her staff developed a full-day co-teaching model of inclusion for grades kindergarten and first grade.  For the 2019-20 school year, her team is developing a learning center model as a small program pilot.  She brings to this position knowledge of best practices for English Learners and a background in foundational skills for reading.  In addition, she brings an understanding of our district and community. 

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Dan WElch

Director of Bond Projects, Facilities, Maintenance & Operations

It is our pleasure to announce Dan Welch as the Salinas City Elementary School District Director of Bond Projects, Facilities, Maintenance and Operations.

Dan previously worked at Pajaro Valley Unified School District for the last five years as their Senior Planner. He managed both bond and non-bond projects from inception to completion. 

Mr. Welch’s prior experience includes 5 years as the Maintenance Supervisor for the Washington County Housing Authority and 10 years as a journeyman carpenter in the Carpenters Union where he worked as both crew foreman and Job-Site Superintendent. Dan has been a General Contractor in California, Oregon, and Washington with 40+ years of experience.

In education: Dan has two A.A. degrees. One in Business and the other in Building Codes.  He has been certified as a building inspector, plans examiner, as well as earning the C.A.S.H. certificate in Maintenance Management.



Administrator of Extended Learning

It is our pleasure to announce Brian Hays as the Salinas City Elementary School District Administrator for Extended Learning.

Mr. Hays has been a member of our community for over 20 years and has served our students in many different roles. Brian started his teaching career at Natividad Elementary School were he developed a passion for providing service to our community and empowering our youth. As an academic coach at Boronda Meadows, Mr. Hays developed the leadership skills that led to a career in school administration, both as a vice principal at El Gabilan and Principal at Monterey Park Elementary Schools.

As the Administrator for Extended Learning , Brian is looking forward to collaborating with our school communities in developing and implementing engaging and enriching after-school programs for the students of our district.

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Program Specialist, Special Eduction

It is our pleasure to announce Brendan Bloom-Sweeney as Salinas City Elementary School District’s Program Specialist for Special Education.

Brendan Bloom-Sweeney has been a special education teacher for the past seven years.  He began his teaching career as a resource specialist and special day class teacher at the high school level.  In the previous five years, he taught in a therapeutic intervention program for Monterey Peninsula Unified School District. Brendan’s focus while working in the therapeutic intervention program was inclusion and how to ensure students had access and support in general education classes while helping teachers manage and respond to classroom behavior. 

Mr. Bloom-Sweeney recently completed his administrative credential and masters from San Jose State University and is excited to begin working in Salinas City Elementary School District.



Principal, Loma Vista

It is our pleasure to announce Susana Vargas as the Salinas City Elementary School District Principal at Loma Vista Elementary.

Ms. Vargas has been in education for the last 17 years. During these years she has taught in different capacities. She has taught ESL classes for the Salinas Adult School and kindergarten for the Chualar Elementary School District. Ms. Vargas has continued her educational journey with Salinas City Elementary School District where she has taught, and most recently, been Vice Principal at Los Padres Elementary. Susana continues her administrative path as Principal for Loma Vista Elementary.



Principal, Monterey Park

It is our pleasure to announce Sherry Villaneda as the Salinas City Elementary School District Principal at Monterey Park Elementary.

Mrs. Villaneda has been an educator for Salinas City Elementary School District for the last 24 years.  Prior to becoming a classroom teacher, she was a classroom volunteer at University Park, a substitute teacher, and taught English as a Second Language to high school students from Germany.  Sherry has also been a teacher at Kammann Elementary School for 17 years before she made the leap into administration. For two years, Mrs. Villaneda was a Vice-Principal at Natividad, then Kammann for the last 5 years. 

She is excited to begin the next step in her educational career as Principal at Monterey Park.  A Fun fact about Sherry is that her very first student-teaching experience was at Monterey Park for a 4th-5th grade combination class with Ms. Norma Kunnas.

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Matthew Harris

Vice Principal, Laurel Wood & Boronda Meadows

It is our pleasure to announce Matthew Harris as the Salinas City Elementary School District Vice Principal for Laurel Wood and Boronda Meadows.

Mr. Harris has been a part of our greater Central Coast community since graduating from college in early 2000.  Previously, Mr. Harris served as Vice Principal/Learning Director and Principal in South Monterey County.  He has taught eight years in the classroom, first through fourth grades.  Education has always been a passion of Mr. Harris and he is dedicated to optimizing student-learning experiences that will prepare them for 21st century demands.  Mr. Harris grew up on the East coast and obtained his teaching credential and Masters in Administration from Chapman University.

Mr. Harris has two wonderful children Savanna, who will be starting seventh grade and Zach, an eleventh grader.  Both of his children attended Mission Park Elementary and Washington Middle School.  His family enjoys taking hikes, reading, swimming, and almost any outdoor sport.

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Vice Principal, Los Padres

It is our pleasure to announce Rigoberto Rios as the Salinas City Elementary School District Vice Principal at Los Padres Elementary.

Mr. Rios has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies, as well as, a Minor in Spanish from San Jose State University.  He earned a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and attained his Preliminary Administrative Services Credential from the University of Santa Clara.

Mr. Rios has served for the last 14 years as a dual immersion (DI) 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grade elementary teacher through Las Animas Elementary School in Gilroy, California. 

During this past Summer, he worked as a Summer Migrant Education (Pass/Cyber High) teacher, a Migrant Tech Academy Teacher, and an ELD/Science teacher. 

In his prior experience, Rigoberto spent three years as an ELAC (English Language Advisory Committee) Facilitator working with parents of English Language Speakers.  In addition, he spent two years as a Power School Program Leader (Afterschool Program).



Vice Principal, Kamman

It is our pleasure to announce Tonya Vossler as the Salinas City Elementary School District Vice Principal at Kammann Elementary.

Mrs. Vossler has been an educator for twenty-three years. For twenty-two of those years, she has worked for Salinas City Elementary School District in a plethora of roles. She has taught multiple subjects to primary and upper grade students and has been involved in many district and site leadership teams and collaborative roles.  For two years she served as the Teaching Vice Principal at Mission Park where she was the testing coordinator and assisted the site Principal, as needed. For the last four years she has served as the Vice Principal at Laurel Wood Elementary.  Mrs. Vossler has earned her Clear Administrative Services Credential in Education, and has completed a Masters degree in the same field. In addition, she also has a Clear Multiple Teaching Credential and a BS in Business Finance.

Tonya was born and raised in the central valley, and she had the privilege of being raised in a family with parents and many other family members who held education and learning in the highest regard. Both of her parents were school administrators in Tulare County. She was able to gain knowledge and have an understanding about their success and struggles at their respective schools. Observing them in their work environment allowed her to gain an insight into how an educational leader can have a positive impact on people. Being afforded the opportunity to watch them, led her to where to she is today.

Not only has she had the experience in the field of education, but she also spent time working with other organizations including financial corporations. Within these groups she held various positions, which included leadership and management roles. It was through these roles she was able to gain knowledge of the whole organization rather than just a minute part.

Her beliefs and values about education and educational leadership have been shaped by the knowledge gained from course work and real life experience. Above all she believes that transparency is key when leading others through personal actions and interactions with others. It is imperative she says to allow people to see and understand what you stand for, your message for the stakeholders, and your vision for the group as a whole.  It is her passion as an educational leader to tirelessly work to support all stakeholders in achieving their vision, mission, goals, and programs.

On a personal note, Tonya has lived in Salinas for over 22 years, and has been married for 36 years.  She has one son and a granddaughter.  She has traveled to many places throughout her life giving her the knowledge and experience to understand other’s cultures and beliefs.   

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District Nurse

It is our pleasure to announce Brando Gorlero as the Salinas City Elementary School District District Nurse.

Brando comes to Salinas City Elementary School District with a diverse and enriched experience as both a healthcare professional and as an educator. Brando began his professional journey after earning his first Bachelor’s degree in Biology from La Sierra University and subsequently his Doctorate in Chiropractic from Southern California University of Health Sciences. His time as a chiropractor taught him the importance of providing good patient education and sparked his interest in becoming a teacher and a lifelong learner.

Brando earned his Masters of Arts in Education at Claremont Graduate University and taught high school Biology, Earth Science, and Anatomy and Physiology. Brando has lectured courses in Anatomy and Physiology at West Coast University where he decided to combine his passions for healthcare, teaching, and learning by becoming a nurse. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Nursing in 2014 from Azusa Pacific University and was immediately hired as a full-time faculty member and Regional Simulation Coordinator while simultaneously working as an acute care nurse at Kaiser Permanente in Southern California.

Most recently, Brando moved up to the central coast with his family where they plan to set roots and hope to remain for a very long time. “The role of a District Nurse aligns with my belief in lifelong learning.”