Meet the new big man on campus

Gayaldo to take over Del Oro amid budget deficits
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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A new principal will lead Del Oro High School through the challenge of state deficits and budget cuts. Dan Gayaldo, 51, who currently serves as a Del Oro vice principal, has been named to replace Principal Bob Christiansen, who retires graduation day. Gayaldo takes the helm July 1 and sees the state budget cuts as the greatest challenge facing the school. “We’re going to have to put more kids in classes and we have to cut salaries,” he said. While no tenured teachers received layoff notices at the school, Gayaldo said four retiring teachers will not be replaced. He also said that the school is expecting a large freshman class in fall. According to Gayaldo, one of the challenges he foresees in the next few years is the retirement of many of the teachers who “built Del Oro.” “I want to seek out and hire the very best teachers to take their places,” he said. Gayaldo was born and raised on Taylor Road (Pacific Street) in Rocklin and his family has lived in the area for 100 years. “I’ve spent my entire life on Taylor Road,” the new principal joked. Gayaldo said he’s taught history and physical education at the school for 19 years and served as athletic director for five of those years. He was also involved in coaching football and basketball. Gayaldo has been a vice principal for three years and now is spending time with Christiansen learning the ropes. “The learning curve is very steep, you don’t learn this (how to be a principal) in the classroom,” Gayaldo said. Gayaldo said he sees his main duty as “making sure staff and students have everything they need to teach and learn.” He also sees his role as ensuring the “community feels Del Oro is the place they want to send their kids.” “The school has a family personality. We work together,” he said. Gayaldo said some of his other goals are to “continue to improve our test scores.” “Literacy is very important,” he said. He also said he wants to get the school “more technologically up to date,” and get the parent Web portal up and running. Students and staff greeted the naming of the school’s new principal with enthusiasm. “He’s a very close friend and will make a great principal. Dan’s the kind of guy who’s a great listener. He takes into consideration all sides before he makes a decision,” said Jeff Tooker, another Del Oro vice principal. “I’ve had a few run-ins with Mr. Gayaldo. I like him,” said senior Wade Westlake. “He’s awesome and very deserving. He’s a family friend and I’ve known him since I was a baby,” said Carley Schimmelman, senior. While Gayaldo will face budgetary challenges, he is still optimistic about the high school’s future. “I’m really excited, this is such a great place to work. I’m feeling very supported by the community,” said Gayaldo. LITTLE-KNOWN FACTS ABOUT DAN GAYALDO His family has lived in the community for 100 years. Grew up on Pacific Street (Taylor Road) in Rocklin. His parents ran a market there. Graduated from Oakmont High School, Sierra College and California State University, Chico. There is a new park in Rocklin named after his family. His mom still lives in his childhood home. Co-owns Dan & Dwayne’s Laundromat in Rocklin with his nephew. His sister Mary Pat taught at Franklin School for 34 years. His and his wife’s four children graduated from DO.