There is little question that Jeff Aprile is dedicated to the student body of Oakdale Joint Unified School District.
Aprile, now in his 28th year of education and 26th with OJUSD, recently accepted the position of Vice Principal of Oakdale Junior High. An opportunity he shared he is looking forward to, most specifically in the areas both listening to and learning from the students and staff, as well as supporting both in the areas most needed.
“My first and long-term goal is to get to know the students and staff, while working to fully understand the day-to-day function of our school,” Aprile shared. “I will lean on the dedicated staff and hard-working administrative team to guide me toward meeting the specific site goals that are established.”
During his 26-year tenure with OJUSD, Aprile has served in varying roles including teaching fourth, fifth and sixth grades; Oakdale Charter High School Teacher in Charge; Vice Principal of Cloverland and his most recent position of Vice Principal of Sierra View.
“Both of my parents and many of my relatives were or are teachers,” Aprile said of pursuing a career in education and his influences and mentors. “Even though I dreamed of other types of careers while in high school, I knew, deep down, that education was where I would eventually land.”
Aprile shared he received the tap to join the OJHS team in December, just midway through his sixth year as VP of Sierra View Elementary School. Like all campuses, joining the team mid-year required a quick pivot, as he, along with the rest of the staff adjust to the challenges of a pandemic present school year.
“Students are enjoying connection and school activities during these strange and unpredictable COVID times,” Aprile shared of students returning to in person learning. “My goal is to help lead school activities and interactions to further support school engagement.”
The change of scenery for the administrator also means a little extra time needed to get acclimated to the new surroundings.
“One challenge is that it’s not easy being a new face on campus, especially midway through the school year,” Aprile said, noting a goal to spend time out of his office engaging and getting to know the students. “I hope to provide support and guidance.”
Part of his approach there, he said, is to offer leadership “by always being visible, available and approachable.”
Joining the OJUSD team 26 years ago, Aprile shared was more a choice of necessity over anything as a new teacher pursuing employment.
“It didn’t take long for me to discover that I really enjoy the small town feel and the sense of community that the city of Oakdale and OJUSD offer,” he stated.
While Sierra View Elementary served as “home” to Aprile for 14 years, more than half of his OJUSD career, he noted an additional challenge will be finding his place within his new work family.
“The best aspect of working in this role is serving others,” Aprile said of his selection as vice principal. “From students to staff to parents, there is always a way I can support others. That’s the most rewarding part of this job. I’m looking forward to listening to, learning from and supporting the students, staff and families of OJHS.”