Mr. Sanchez and his voyage to the Islands


Mr. David Sanchez may be a new assistant principal at Channel Islands, but in a recent interview with him, the Isle File staff learned that his connections to our community and Ventura County go way back.

Mr. Sanchez said he grew up “right over the bridge” near CI, in the Diamond Bar area. He attended Tierra Vista Elementary, Oceanview Junior High, and St. Bonaventure High School. He also went on to attend Moorpark College and Cal Lutheran University. So, his story is very much rooted in the VC area.

Although he did not always see himself in education and even thought about a path in business, Mr. Sanchez ultimately realized his passion for teaching through observing his father’s experiences as an educator. It was here in VC where Mr. Sanchez got to see his father at work as a history teacher at Oxnard, Ventura, and Moorpark colleges. 

“I saw the interactions he had with individuals—people whose lives he has impacted,” Mr. Sanchez said. “So, I felt that that was a natural calling for me.”

Thus, after earning his bachelor’s degree in English, he decided on getting his teaching credential to become an educator. Mr. Sanchez got his first taste of teaching as a long-term substitute teacher for a special education class in 2001, while he was working on his credential. In 2002, he moved on to Santa Paula High School where he taught for 6 years. And for the last 12 and a half years, before making the move to CI this past March, he was at Oxnard High School. As an English teacher, he taught everything from reading classes to AP English and was also English department chair. 

But between all those years of teaching, it was only during his time at Oxnard High that he fulfilled a promise he made to his mother back when he graduated with his bachelor’s degree. At the time, his mother was diagnosed with cancer and Mr. Sanchez decided to take a pause on continuing his education for his master’s degree. He promised to get back to it and eventually he did earn his master’s in Educational Leadership from Grand Canyon University.

Now at CI, Mr. Sanchez voiced that he felt very welcomed and humbled to be a part of our school community, noting that what many people have said about CI being like a family is true. 

“You really can’t put into words the close-knit community that you have here at Channel Islands,” Mr. Sanchez expressed.

As an assistant principal, Mr. Sanchez is working more “behind the scenes” than when he was a teacher. His duties now focus on making sure that things are organized for teachers and students, ensuring a safe and caring school environment.

“I always [want] to be able to be the support system for educators as well as students and parents,” Mr. Sanchez noted.

Also, as a parent of two teens, Mr. Sanchez says he has a different perspective about students that helps him in his role as an educator and now, administrator. He sees his role as being a supportive and understanding figure in students’ journeys.

“Knowing that the person you see before you is the person that they are currently, not the person they are every day,” Mr. Sanchez said is his philosophy. “[Students] are so much more than what we get to see sometimes.”

When asked about what he enjoys about working in education, Mr. Sanchez explained that he liked seeing students maturing over the years and taking advantage of the opportunities they have.

“Seeing that growth is one of the highlights of being an educator,” Mr. Sanchez shared.