Dear Parents and Community Members,
I have enjoyed my time as the School Psychologist/Behavior Intervention Specialist serving at Loleta Elementary School for the past three years. I wanted to let you know that, in addition to this role, I am honored to have been appointed to the role of School Climate Director. This role will help to guide Loleta Elementary School in establishing equitable discipline procedures, supporting students and families in accessing special education services, and supporting teachers and support staff in improving their knowledge and implementation of trauma informed practices and positive behavior interventions and supports. It is with great respect that I assume these responsibilities and am excited to work with all of you in this area of professional development.
Given these responsibilities, I will be working two additional day at Loleta Elementary School in addition to my role as school psychologist and behavior specialist. My current days at Loleta Elementary are Mondays and Wednesdays. I will be working on the responsibilities of School Climate Director on Thursdays and Fridays. To support students, parents, and community members in this role, I have worked to create a Wellness Center at Loleta Elementary in conjunction with the Makers Space in the middle school wing. In the Wellness Center, students, teachers, parents, and community members can access socio-emotional curriculum and books, information on wellness and self-care, and information on restorative practices including circles and restorative conferencing. Please feel free to stop by any time!
I wanted to share a little about myself and why developing positive relationships with students and supporting the development of this relationship between school staff and student is a passion of mine. My parents were born in Croatia in Eastern Europe and experienced significant trauma from World War II. My mother’s school was bombed when she was in fifth grade which was her last year of schooling. My father was able to go to school until the seventh grade. My parents immigrated to the United States and finally settled in Phoenix, AZ. My father was a refugee from Croatia and received support and assistance from the French government and Catholic Charities.
At the age of fourteen, I was placed into foster care due to family trauma and my own mental health issues. I attended seven high schools during my high school years because I lived in a number of different foster homes, treatment centers, and even juvenile hall where I spent my sixteenth birthday. My last years of high school were at South Mountain High School, a magnet school for disadvantaged youth. Through the support of many teachers and counselors, I graduated at age seventeen years of age with my private pilot’s license. Looking back at my years of displacement and involvement in the foster care and juvenile justice system, I remember the teachers, counselors, and support staff that cared for and believed in me. During my senior year, I was told I could not attend my Advanced Placement English class trip to New York because I was on probation and considered a flight risk. My teacher advocated for me and went to the judge to request permission that I attend the trip. She raised money for me to attend and took personal responsibility for my behavior during the trip. It is because of teachers like her that I engage in the work I do today! I believe that one teacher, one coach, one principal, one counselor, one aide, one janitor, etc. can make the difference in a child’s life. I believe that all youth are capable of success with no exceptions and strive in my work to support students in this belief of themselves with high expectations.
I have worked as a school psychologist and behavior specialist in Humboldt County for 9 years serving school districts from Weitchepec to Rio Dell. I received my Associate of Arts Degree in Liberal Studies, at Phoenix College, Bachelor of Arts Degree in Child Development and Social Work at Humboldt State University, and Masters of Arts in School Psychology at Humboldt State University.
I am open with students, teachers, parents, and families about my experiences in foster care and the juvenile justice system in addition to my own challenges with mental health. One of the most powerful experiences for me was when my general practitioner diagnosed me with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to my early experiences and involvement in foster care. Students who experience trauma and mental health issues are my passion as I feel these students are often misunderstood. Restorative practices is also a personal and professional passion. I believe the school system should not only teach reading, writing and math but also socio-emotional and behavior skills. I often share in the workshops that I conduct that if a student has a learning disability we teach, but if a student has an emotional or behavioral disability we tend to punish, when what should be doing is teaching them ways of manage their emotions and behaviors.
People often ask about my hyphenated name. Radic is my Croatian family who I strongly identify with. Although I was born in the United States, Croatian was my first language and I learned English when I was four years of age and started kindergarten. Oshiro is my husband’s last name. He is Japanese American and born and raised in Humboldt County. We have two beautiful boys who are sixteen and seven years of age. Being a mom is the most rewarding part of my life. My husband and I have worked hard coming from little means and both of us from the foster care system. We are committed parents and have had to learn a lot about healthy parenting, which is something we continue to work on. In addition to my job and my children, my other passion is gardening. I find this to be the best self-care for me on the weekends.
I hope to work closely with all of the students of Loleta Elementary School. The students call me “Ms. Sandy” and I look forward to my days at Loleta Elementary with students and staff. I have found the work here has been the most rewarding in my career and am continuously impressed by the resiliency and honesty of students.
urge you to contact me at any time should you like additional information or want to discuss ideas or concerns, specifically in special education, mental health, restorative practices, and school climate. My contact information is listed below.
Thank you for your involvement and positive energy in making meaningful and lasting change at Loleta Elementary School. Our students are amazing and deserve a safe and equitable learning environment for all.
(707) 834-2861 cell phone