My name is Lara Storm and I have been the principal of Monarch Grove Elementary School since 2014. This school year, I am sharing the principal role with Mrs. Shelly King, which allows me to also work in our district's Instructional Services: Learning and Achievement department.
I have been the principal here since 2014, and I truly enjoy leading such a vibrant and supportive learning community. In that time, our school community:
- Has become the highest performing Title 1 school in San Luis Obispo County, according to English language arts and math state assessments
- Increased academic achievement in English language arts, going from 55% at or above grade level in 2016 to 75% at or above grade level in 2019 according to state assessments
- Increased academic achievement in math, going from 52% at or above grade level in 2016 to 75% at or above grade level in 2019 according to state assessments
- Obtained blue ratings in both English language arts and math on the 2019 California School Dashboard
- Was named a Educational Results Partnership Honor Roll School in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019
- Received a $10,000 innovation grant from the San Luis Coastal Education Foundation (SLCEF) to implement Leader in Me
- Won the "People's Choice" award from the SLCEF for $5,000 to implement Leader in Me
- Implemented Thinking Maps, the first school in SLCUSD to do so
- Piloted ST Math, now a districtwide program
- Upgraded our science room into a useable science lab
- Expanded our art and music offerings
- Enhanced our garden space through a greenhouse, outdoor classroom space, and pollinator garden
- Changed to a "recess before lunch" model, recommended by the California Department of Education
- Created the first movement room in the district
Before coming to Monarch Grove, I was the principal of Fairgrove Elementary in Grover Beach for five years. In that time, we implemented a number of innovative programs and earned the Title 1 Academic Achievement Award. We received state and national recognition for our work involving teacher coaching, observation, and professional development.
Before becoming a principal, I was a classroom teacher for seven years, teaching 6th grade, 4th grade, and 3rd-6th grade intervention. In 2007, I had the honor of being the San Luis Obispo County Teacher of the Year. I earned my B.A. in Communications at the University of North Dakota and worked as the director of special projects (fundraising, special events and public relations) for Special Olympics North Dakota before becoming an educator.
I live right here in Los Osos with my husband and two children. I am thrilled to now be able to use my career to make a difference for my own community. To me, one of the most rewarding aspects of being a principal is the relationships developed with others. I look forward to getting to know the students and partnering with families to challenge and support all of our learners.
The education we provide for our students is my top priority. As a function of this, I am frequently in classrooms, out on campus, or in meetings to support teaching and learning. As a result, I may not always be able to speak with you when you drop in or phone. I really do value communicating with you, so please feel free to schedule a face-to-face or telephone appointment with me so I can give you my undivided attention. The secretaries will be happy to arrange this for you. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions regarding the program here at Monarch Grove. I am excited about the endless possibilities for each of our students and look forward to our partnership in this endeavor.
When you see me on campus, please stop and say hello. I look forward to getting to know you!