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Woodlake Awards: King of Castle Rock

Woodlake Awards: King of Castle Rock

Robert Gonzales has turned things around at Castle Rock Elementary in Woodlake.

He is continuously seeking insight as to how to better develop his staff and educate students. Despite a lifelong passion for learning, Gonzales was surprised to learn he had received Woodlake’s Educator of the Year Award.

“I am very humbled to receive such a wonderful award,” said Gonzales

One of the motto’s Gonzales has been able to instill in the students is “Hard work pays off.” With the help of former NFL running back Lorenzo Neal, the students have really bought into the mindset.

“Every assembly is concluded by saying ‘hard work’ and all the students respond back with ‘pays off,’” he said.

In his ninth year as principal at Castle Rock, Gonzales has seen an improvement in student achievement. With each year, more students become proficient in English-Language Arts. The school’s API score has risen more than 100 points in his time here. But Gonzales does not take credit for the improvement in student testing. He knows if it was not for the hard work of his teachers and staff the numbers might be telling a different story.

“My role is to support the teachers in helping each student reach their academic achievement goals,” said Gonzales.

He has always maintained a positive and encouraging working relationship with his staff. And it does not stop there. Gonzales would like to create an environment where even the students look forward to coming to school every day. The enthusiasm shows as attendance is on the rise.

Several things can be said about Robert Gonzales but what stands out out the most is his willingness to go above and beyond his role as a principal to be a role model to each and every student.

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