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 Getting to Know SDCOE: New Principal Enjoys Supporting At-Risk Students

Oscar Felix first discovered his passion for working with at-risk students and families and first-generation college students more than 19 years ago while working at the California Student Opportunity and Access Program.

After working at several comprehensive high schools in San Diego, Felix now has the opportunity again to work with that same population of students as the new principal at the San Diego County Office of Education's Juvenile Court and Community Schools (JCCS) North Region.

"I'm excited to work with the passionate staff in North San Diego County, and with students who need the most support," said Felix. "As they transition from a comprehensive site to our program, I want to make sure we meet their academic, career, and social-emotional needs and help them with their goals as they move through high school into the world of work or college."

Felix joined SDCOE after serving as an assistant principal in the Carlsbad Unified School District. Prior to that, he was an assistant principal in the Oceanside Unified School District, and a school counselor in both the Sweetwater Union High and the Oceanside Unified school districts.

"Felix is a welcome addition to our JCCS leadership team as we continue to ensure excellence in teaching and learning, cultivate stakeholder engagement, and strive to be the very best in supporting all students," said JCCS Executive Director Tracy Thompson.

Felix's experience as a counselor has given him a solid foundation for not only understanding and supporting curriculum and instruction and the inner workings of a school, but also how to provide students with academic, career, and social-emotional supports.

"My career and educational backgrounds have helped me build systems of student supports," said Felix. "If a student is acting out, there is a need not being met. How can we meet that need to help the student be successful?"

In addition to leading the North San Diego County Region, Felix is currently working on his doctorate in educational leadership at the University of Southern California, a program he is scheduled to complete in May.

Felix says what he enjoys most about working in education is the people and building relationships with staff, students, and their families. He, along with his wife and two daughters, has lived in North County for the last six years, so he hopes to use his understanding of the climate, culture, and intricacies of the region to build stronger ties with the community.

"I'm in it for the kids," he said. "That's ultimately it, right? Every student is different, and they all have specific needs, and it's about helping them navigate the information or the lack of information that they may have to be able to achieve their goals and their aspirations. Every student wants to be successful, and it's about helping students find their individual success."