City Leaders Land In Principal's Office

Wildomar's Mayor Pro Tem Ben Benoit and City Manager Frank Oviedo were appointed “Principal for a Day” as part of the Lake Elsinore Unified School District’s “Celebrate Our Schools Week.”

Two Wildomar city officials went back to school today – and they were sent straight to the principal’s office.

Mayor Pro Tem Ben Benoit and City Manager Frank Oviedo were appointed “Principal for a Day” as part of the ’s “Celebrate Our Schools Week.”

During their one-day tenures, Benoit spent the morning at shadowing principal Nori Chandler and Oviedo participated at under principal Corene Barr.

Both men have daughters who attend the respective schools.

In addition to today’s event, which saw local dignitaries spend time at area schools throughout the district, the Celebrate Our Schools Week will see the 3rd Annual Heroes in Education awards and gala tomorrow. The event scheduled at will honor the district’s education leaders.

On Saturday, LEUSD parents and students will get a chance to learn more about educational opportunities, including college, during the 5th Annual Parent Summit beginning at 8:30 a.m. at . The event is free and includes a continental breakfast and lunch.

Benoit said today’s experience at his daughter’s school allowed him to gain perspective from an educator’s point of view. He noted education cuts that have trickled down to Ronald Reagan Elementary, including the loss of a vice principal and an office clerk.

“The pain is everywhere,” Benoit said.

Benoit also got to see a teacher writing out her lesson plan, which he said exemplified the school’s reputation as an academic leader in the district.

Ronald Reagan, with its staff of 30 full-time teachers and a student population of 735, has consistently scored high in academic testing. During the 2010-11 school year,

For her part, Chandler said the Principal for a Day program, which occurs every year, is a chance to build foundations that benefit her school.

“Now I have connections with the city” as a result of the program, she said. “I feel I have an ear.”

Before leaving the Ronald Reagan Elementary campus, Benoit dropped in to pay a special visit to his daughter Abby’s 2nd grade class. The group of about 20 kids was busy with a lesson on synonyms. As the students studied quietly under their teacher Mrs. Thomas, Abby stepped away from her desk to give her dad a hug.

“I think she was very excited,” Benoit said of Abby’s eagerness to show off Dad to classmates today. “She got dressed very fast this morning.”






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