Skip to main content

Principal's Message

Welcome to Cabrillo Elementary

Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year.  This past summer following a Spring of distance learning gave me an opportunity to prepare for the new school year - prepare in ways that would ensure our students would receive the instruction they deserved and our teachers would receive the support they needed. The Covid-19 pandemicGrab and Go Lunches sprang upon our community and our nation in ways that forced us as a country to think with the elegance of President Kennedy when he challenged Americans in his inaugural address, "Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country."  We as a nation have not been asked to dig deep into a well of sacrifice for over two generations. Yet that is where we find ourselves now. Your teachers rose up to the challenge in mid-March when the world as we knew it stopped. They discovered tools to support them as they built a platform for distance learning where non previously existed. As we enter a new school year in the fifth month of a global pandemic,  we arrive with knowledge that is a product of time and experience. One thing we know is students need live instruction following a bell schedule with opportunities for live instruction from the teacher, small group instruction with the teacher, and opportunities for independent practice. 

We all needed to find some kind of peace this past summer. For me it was a backpacking trip with my friends wEmigrant Wildernesshere we logged over 40 miles of hiking in the high Sierras. We went to high school together in the late 70's and have remained friends over four decades. Our first backpacking trip was back in 1979 when we didn't know much better. Now we prepare for our trips like a campaign by shedding as many ounces as possible by purchasing ever more evolved tents and stoves that are lighter and stronger so that we may carry lighter packs over the miles. For five days, we pushed the pause button on the pandemic as we raced amongst the lakes in Emigrant Wilderness seeking out our limit of trout for the evening meal. The pause ended as I completed my last leg of a 12-mile hike only to see fresh hikers coming up the trail with masks on.

It was a busy summer for my wife Stephanie and I as we committed ourselves to improving our home. We converted a bedroom into a classroom so that she could teach 4th grade in a well-equipped space rather than from the kitchen table as she did last year when the teaching day never seemed to end because her classroom was always open. It was also a summer of learning tuner culture from my son Sam so now my truck makes a Dry Creek Hikingpretty cool throaty growl from a newly installed cold air intake. A truck doesn't need one but in this era of coronavirus, why not? Stephanie is a teacher at Mattos and a bedrock member of the Glenmoor community where she has been coaching the Glenmoor Stingrays swim team for the past 21 years. We have three children - my 20-year old son Sam and Stephanie’s daughters Sophie (17) and Sarah (14).

I am very excited to be a member of the Cabrillo community, now in my fifth year as principal.  My "virtual" door is  open to you, so please feel free to pop in any time.  As I enter my 36th year in Fremont USD - 28 of those years as a teacher - I can ensure you from experience that we have an exceptional teaching staff committed to your child’s education. The students at Cabrillo receive an excellent education where teachers maximize learning opportunities, ensure personal development, and give your child opportunities to take risks that foster greater independence.

Our school secretary Mrs. Sandoval, attendance clerk Mrs. Keith, community liaison Ms. Portillo as well as I are here to be of service to you. Welcome to a new day at Cabrillo!


David Thornley


Cabrillo Elementary