August 15, 2017 (Muskegon, MI) – Oakridge Superintendent, Tom Livezey, is pleased to announce that Cathy Cantu has been hired to fill the Principal vacancy at Oakridge Upper Elementary. Cantu replaces Mr. Troy Moran who left his role as Principal of Oakridge Upper Elementary last spring. Oakridge Upper Elementary serves students in grades 4-6.
“Cathy is passionate about kids, and the belief that all kids can learn,” says Livezey. For the past three years, Cantu has been the Director at West Michigan Academy of Arts and Academics (a K-8 charter school in Spring Lake, MI), and was the Assistant Director for three years prior to that. Prior to WMAAA, she spent a year as an Assistant Principal at WayPoint Academy (a 6-12th grade charter school), and taught high school for 8 years in both a charter and traditional public school.
Livezey remarks, “She believes how we prepare our students at each level sets those students up for success in the next level. She believes that the work we do in public schools is the most important work done by any group of professionals.” Cantu adds, “At our best we help make dreams come true, reach the presumably unreachable, and make the impossible likely.”
Cantu earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership, and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Teaching. She has seven years of administrative experience, and eight years of teaching experience. In addition to her experience as Principal at WMAAA she also had the opportunity to be an instructional leader, the Athletic Director, homeless Liaison, State Assessment Coordinator, and Curriculum Advisor. As a teacher at Howell High School, she advised the Diversity Club in their partnership with the youth program of Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion, co-taught inclusion classes, developed new curriculum, and led students on group tours in Europe. She is also one of now 300 teachers and administrators from across the U.S. and Canada considered a Freedom Writers Teacher at the request of Erin Gruwell, author of The Freedom Writers Diary. In August, 2010, she was a contributing author to Teaching Hope: Stories from the Freedom Writer Teachers as a part of this group.
“We are thrilled to welcome Cathy to our district. We know her leadership skills will be a benefit to each and every student and staff member at Oakridge Upper Elementary!” says Livezey. Cantu’s first day as Principal at Oakridge Upper Elementary will be Tuesday, August 15, 2017.