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New Principal at MHE and Asst Principal at CHS

Joel Francisco Principal at MHEJoel Francisco, Principal Mather Heights Elementary

Folsom Cordova is pleased to announce Joel Francisco as the Principal of Mather Heights Elementary.

With over 30 years of experience in education, Mr. Francisco has extensive experience teaching and leading schools that serve diverse student populations. Mr. Francisco has taught English as a second language all over the world, as a University professor in the Philippines and with the United Nations. His expertise brought him to the California Department of Education where he spent several years supporting programs and initiatives for English language instruction and assessments.

A familiar face, he has been with Folsom Cordova since 2001. He began his journey with FCUSD as a teacher at Mills Middle School where he later held multiple leadership roles including overseeing programs for English Language learners and their families. For the last five years, he has served Cordova High School as an Assistant Principal, three of those years as the Summer School Principal.

Mr. Francisco is well-known for his high energy, warm personality, and his talent for fostering a strong and positive campus community. He holds his National Board Certification in Teaching, a Bachelor of Arts in English, and a Master of Arts in Education.


Freddy CastroFreddy Castro, Ed. D, Assistant Principal Cordova High School

Folsom Cordova is pleased to announce that Dr. Freddy Castro will be joining Cordova High School as an Assistant Principal.

With over ten years of experience in education, Dr. Castro brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Lancer community. He began his journey in education as a Science teacher for the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District. There he served on leadership teams to improve attendance outcomes and instructional support for English language learners. His commitment to closing opportunity gaps for underachieving students was evident as he strived to ensure that every student had equal access to a quality education. Recognizing his potential to effect change on a broader scale, he later joined the California Department of Education. While his time there proved to be valuable, his heart has always been drawn to the front-facing role of directly serving students in a school environment.

His goal is to create an educational environment where every individual can thrive and believes that a supportive and collaborative environment is crucial for nurturing the potential of both teachers and students so all may reach their goals. Being bilingual in English and Spanish, Dr. Castro’s linguistic abilities allow him to connect with a more diverse range of students and parents, fostering a deeper sense of connection within the school community.

Dr. Castro’s expertise and passion for student learning make him a perfect fit for Folsom Cordova’s mission to provide the best possible learning environment for each and every student at Cordova High.

Dr. Castro earned his undergraduate degree from California Lutheran University, his master’s degree from Touro University California, and his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from California State University, Sacramento.