Lion Pride!

Freddie Chavarria, Principal

Laurel Elementary School

I am incredibly honored to be the principal of Laurel Elementary School. I am extremely proud that I attended Laurel as a child from preschool to 6th grade, and I feel privileged to return to the Laurel Community as the principal.

One of my goals is for students to enjoy each and every day at Laurel where they know they are cared for and supported to achieve at the highest level. I expect to create a school culture where all students strive for academic excellence. There is no reason students cannot be fully engaged at Laurel and have a great experience where they are happy and academically successful. Failure is not an option for me-I don’t give up on students and I promise I will do my best every day to ensure that all students at Laurel excel.

About Me

I grew up on Langford Street in Oceanside and attended Laurel from pre-school to sixth grade. I still remember each one of my teachers and specifically recall learning experiences that allowed me to create, innovate, and think critically-experiences such as constructing kites, making puppets, cooking in class, competing against other classes in chess, attending musicals and plays at the Old Globe Theater, and parading down the streets dressed in cardboard armor during our Renaissance Fair.

I attended Palomar College to play football after graduating from El Camino High School in 1990. While attending Palomar, I enlisted and served six years in the Marine Corp Reserves in order to receive the G.I Bill and help support my way through college.

After three years studying at Palomar College, I transferred to UCLA. I graduated from UCLA with a degree in biology in 1996 and was accepted into graduate school to study forensic science. While attending graduate school for close to two years, I worked as a substitute teacher in Oceanside, Vista, and in Los Angeles County. While working on my master's thesis, I made a career and life changing decision to drop out of my graduate program and pursue a teaching position.

I had the privilege of teaching at alternative education high school in Pomona in Los Angeles County for three years. I then made my way back home and taught four years as a 6th-8th math and science teacher at Jefferson Middle School.

In 2007, I was selected as teacher of the year for San Diego County. I am very proud of this honor because I know what it took to be selected. I worked endlessly with teachers, staff, administration, and parents to ensure the success of all my students. I was the first person to volunteer for committees and to help staff. My commitment to my students was unwavering and my students soared as a result.

After four years of teaching at Jefferson I was hired as the assistant principal for two years. I spent the next four years working as assistant principal at El Camino High, my alma mater.

Currently, this is my fifth year of having the honor to serve as Principal of Laurel Elementary. # Lion Pride for Life!

My Family

I’m married to my beautiful wife Raquel and have four wonderful children: Roman is 15 years old, Joaquin is 13 years old, Mikaela is 10 years old, and Vivianna is 5 years old.

As a father, I want the very best for my children. I want them to be safe and healthy, and I want them to have the very best education possible. I feel the same responsibility for my Laurel “Family” as I do for my own children. I want and expect the very best education for every student at Laurel.

Educational Background

National University, Master of Science in Educational Administration

University of La Verne, Mathematics Teaching Credential, 2003

UCLA, Bachelor of Science, Biology, 1996

Palomar College, 1990-1993

El Camino High School, 1990

Jefferson Middle School, 6-8th grade

Laurel Elementary School, Pre-school -6th grade

Awards and Recognitions

Administrator of the Year, Oceanside Chamber of Commerce, 2012

San Diego County Teacher of the Year, 2007

Teacher of the Year, Oceanside Unified School District, 2007

National University Best Educator Award, 2007

UCLA Alumni Recognition Award, 2007

Laurel Elementary Hall of Fame Inductee, 2005

Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Teacher Leadership, UCSD Teacher Education Program, 2005

Park West High School, Most Dedicated & Outstanding Teacher Award, 2003

Laurel in the News