Our Principal


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Greetings Chesterton Families!

My name is Michelle Guarino, and as the new principal of Chesterton Elementary, I’d like to express how excited, proud, and grateful I am to work in partnership with your learning community.  

I’d like to recognize that the 2020-2021 school year got off to a start that none of us could have seen coming, just a short year ago. Despite this, the Chesterton community has rallied. Staff have worked earnestly to provide the best online learning opportunities possible for students, to meet students’ social emotional needs, and to keep students engaged and challenged. Families have worked to help ensure that students have the structured time, learning spaces, and support needed, so that students can learn from home until they are able to return to school. Students, in turn, have discovered that they can adapt and take more ownership over their own learning, ultimately growing in the face of adversity. The Chesterton community should be very proud. 

Since I’m new to Chesterton, I will share a little about my professional background.  I was raised in Southern California and graduated with an Asian Studies degree from U.C. Santa Barbara.  Post graduation, I moved to Taiwan, where I taught English to students aged kindergarten to adult. After returning to the U.S., I worked in business for five years, before obtaining my multiple subject, CLAD teaching credential, with GATE certification, from San Diego State. I was then hired by San Diego Unified, working at Johnson, Cubberley, and Hage elementaries, and teaching 1st through 4th grades. After staying home with my three children for five years, I returned to teaching, but this time at Albert Einstein Academy Charter. While there, I taught 3rd grade for seven years, followed by six years serving as the International Baccalaureate Program Coordinator and as an Instructional leader. I recently graduated from the University of San Diego, with a Master’s degree in Leadership Studies, after which I obtained my administrative credential.  I am thrilled to embark on my 19th year in education, returning to San Diego City Schools, in the role of principal at Chesterton Elementary.   

I am looking forward to working in collaboration with families, students, and staff to further ensure quality teaching and learning, to strive to provide equitable learning opportunities for ALL students, and to continue fostering a positive school culture here at Chesterton. I am also eager to get to know your children and you. 

Be safe. Be kind. Be well.

Michelle Guarino, Principal

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