David Foldvary recently began his school year in Oakley as the new principal at Vintage Parkway Elementary School.
Foldvary, a native of southern California, relocated to the area a few months ago after marrying his wife, Danielle, who grew up in Walnut Creek. He most recently worked as an assistant principal in the Beverly Hills Unified School District and has also been a middle school social studies and Spanish teacher.
Foldvary transitioned from teaching into administration because he felt he could have a broader impact on students and school culture.
“There are parts of teaching that are irreplaceable,” he said. “But I really do like the administrator role, because you get to be involved in everything, and if you do it right, you get to help create a really effective school environment that’s good for kids, good for the staff and good for the community.”
He credits former principal Erin Roberts for setting him up for success in what he calls a thriving school community. Foldvary’s goal is to maintain that stability and minimize bumps for students in trusting new faces like himself, assistant principal Teresa Bryson, counselor Tiffannie Montaque-Jenkins and office manager Sam Loza.
“So far, I think we are absolutely meeting that challenge of proving trustworthy and effective for our kids and our staff,” Foldvary said.
Within the first week, he has already gotten out of the office and begun getting to know students and staff. That’s what he wants to do at Vintage Parkway – he wants to be a significant part of the school climate, not just sit behind his desk all day.
“I really like working with successful, thriving, academically-oriented students,” he said. “I also really like working with students who need the care of an additional adult beyond their caring teacher to really give them a support structure in school. So, I really have enjoyed getting out onto the playground, giving and getting those high fives from students, learning some of their names, being in their classrooms and seeing the kind of things that are already engaging them in the first couple of days.”
Foldvary said the Vintage Parkway community has been welcoming to him, too. Although most might think Oakley is pretty different from where he was, he said it’s not always what it seems.
“For all of its reputation and glitz, Beverly Hills has a real small-town feel, surrounded on all sides by the cities of Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Culver City,” he said. “And it feels much like a small town in terms of people knowing one another, people staying in the city for generations and knowing what one’s kids and grandkids are up to. And it’s also a city that really revolves around a stellar school district. I think, reflecting on what I’ve experienced of this city, even in a short time, is that Oakley is really much the same … so, I feel very comfortable here.”
In his free time, Foldvary is getting used to his new community, both in Oakley and where he and his wife live in Benicia. They enjoy finding shops and restaurants and exploring downtown Benicia and First Street. Foldvary is also a cyclist who hopes to be able to bike Mount Diablo within a year or two.