My name is Rey Cubias, and I am very proud and happy to introduce myself as your new principal. It is an honor to follow in the footsteps of Ruben Ayala, our outgoing principal. Ruben skillfully and successfully guided First Street from its inception eighteen years ago. At that time, First Street was only supposed to be a temporary school until other area schools opened. Well, as our community has grown, First Street remains as active and vibrant as ever. Its reputation for fantastic students, appreciative and supportive parents, and a committed, hardworking staff are all of the reasons I chose to make the move to First Street School.
Professionally, I have been in education for over twenty five years, most of those as a middle school English, social studies, science, and PE teacher. Seven years ago I made the switch into administration as the vice-principal at Glen Edwards Middle School. Being a Lincoln resident for the past fourteen years, it was truly special to have an opportunity to work and contribute to the community of which I was a part. I especially liked working in the original area of Lincoln with its diverse cultures and rich history. After two years of working at GEMS, the position of school principal opened up at Twelve Bridges Elementary School. I live in the Twelve Bridges area with my wife Joanie and our three children: Will - 14, Aleri - 12, and Gabby 10. At the time, all of my three children were attending TBES. It was just too good an opportunity to pass up, and I was fortunate to be hired as the principal where I worked for the past five years. I learned so much in those years about what it means to serve one’s community. With Mr. Ayala retiring and only a 5th grader left at TBES, it felt like the right time for me to make a change and take on a new professional challenge. I am very proud of all that we accomplished at TBES, and I’m very excited to bring many of those ideas and opportunities to our community here at First Street. I was born and raised in San Francisco but my parents emigrated from El Salvador, so coming back to a community rich in diversity where I could use my Spanish was a definite plus!
Instructionally speaking, I have high expectations for our students, and it is my commitment that they will receive high-level instruction from our amazing teachers and have every resource available to help them reach their full potential. Philosophically, I am not a believer in homework at the elementary level. Aside from a few math problems necessary to reinforce new material, weekly i-Ready on-line practice in both math and ELA (much of which can/should be done at school), and reading for pleasure, no additional homework will be expected on a regular basis. Time at home should be for family, extracurricular activities, and general play time. While at school, you can expect your children to be treated with dignity and respect in a positive learning environment. In the coming years, our staff will go through PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports) training as well as “Love and Logic”. It is also my hope to offer “Love & Logic” training for our families as well. Being able to have consistent practices and behavioral expectations for our students will make efforts at home and school more effective. Lastly, it is my goal to continue to nurture and cultivate the great community we have here at First Street. I want everyone to know that you are invited and welcome to volunteer at our school and we certainly want you all to turn out for our various school events throughout the year.
In the weeks to come, please be on the lookout for a parent survey that will be going home through Google forms. The intent of the survey will be to gather information about what you believe is working well at FSS and what things could be improved in order to maximize the overall school experience for our students. It is also a chance to let our staff know what other programs and possibilities you would like to see us explore over the coming months and years. In addition to the survey, I want all of you to know that I am available to talk either by email, phone, or in person anytime. I pride myself on having an open-door policy for staff, students, and families alike. It is my goal to keep everyone informed of school events and happenings on a weekly basis both through a Sunday night phone call as well as a Sunday night email - both will go out in English and Spanish at 7:00 pm beginning on August 5th. While I know some of you personally, I look forward to getting to know the rest of you and your wonderful children. As I mentioned previously, I see my role as someone who is coming in to serve our community. I believe in the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and I look forward to working together to raise our incredible First Street students! The blacktop, student restrooms, and A/C units are all being upgraded this summer, and more improvements are on the way. We want FSS to be a place where kids feel proud to attend and eager learn!