September 28, 2020 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Culver City Unified Welcomes Two New Principals

Casey Chabola, Rebecca Godbey join CCUSD pending confirmation

By Chad Winthrop

Two Culver City Unified School District schools are getting new principals.

The CCUSD has offered Dr. Rebecca Godbey the position of Principal of La Ballona Elementary School, pending Board of Education confirmation at its June 23 meeting.

“Dr. Godbey is an experienced educator with an extensive history of accomplishments. Her 16 years of teaching experience includes kindergarten, second, third, and fourth grades, giving her a broad understanding of the needs of children at various stages of development,” CCUSD said in a media release.

As an administrator, Dr. Godbey has served for six years as assistant principal in El Segundo Unified School District, and one year as principal of Emerson Elementary in Compton Unified, a K-8 school.

Dr. Godbey has earned a master’s degree in Reading, and doctorate in Educational Leadership for Social Justice. Dr. Godbey’s educational philosophy highly values the whole-child approach, which stresses the importance of teaching social skills and emotional competencies alongside traditional academics. 

“She believes it is vital that the classrooms of La Ballona be community spaces where all students feel valued and have a sense of belonging. Her goal is to build a thriving, inclusive school culture which is critical to maximizing students’ ability to develop into their best selves in the future. Having successfully navigated the difficulties of being a principal during the difficult era of Covid-19 and widespread social protest, Dr. Godbey has a proven capacity to be a nimble and responsive leader during difficult times. She has a relentless commitment to ensuring La Ballona is a place where equity, growth mindset and joy fills the hallways (and virtual classrooms),” the district said.

In addition, CCUSD has offered Casey Chabola the position of Principal of Linwood E. Howe Elementary School, pending Board of Education confirmation at its June 23 meeting.

Chabola has served as Linwood E. Howe’s interim principal for the past five months. A product of CCUSD schools, he was hired by the District in 1997 and has taught elementary school and has been an Administrative Designee since 2013. Chabola has also served as Linwood E. Howe’s Title 1 and School Improvement Coordinator, a member of the teacher’s union negotiation team, a member of CCUSD’s Certificated Advisory Council, and the school’s lead teacher for the High- Performance Learning Consortium. He is also a member of CCUSD’s reopening task force and a member of the WASC Evaluations Committee and has earned the PTA’s Honorary Service Award three times.

In addition, Chabola is steeped in the rich athletic tradition of CCUSD. In 2000, he co-founded the Culver City High School boy’s lacrosse team with his father, former CCHS athletic Director Jerry Chabola, and former Culver City Mayor David Hauptman; and has served as head coach of the team ever since. Chabola has earned Ocean League Coach of the Year honors three times and has been both an AYSO soccer volunteer coach and a Culver City Little League softball coach.

Chabola earned a bachelor’s degree in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, with an emphasis in Sports Management, from St. Mary’s College of California. He earned a master’s degree in Education (Multiple Subject Teaching Credential) from Loyola Marymount University and a second master’s degree in Education Administration from Concordia University. He lives in Culver City with his wife, Kim, and his three children: Kayla, 21, who currently attends University of Colorado, Boulder; Sierra, 18, this year’s CCHS Athlete of the Year who will attend San Diego State University in the fall; and Joey, who is a member of the CCHS Class of 2022.

“We are excited to welcome both Mr. Chabola and Dr. Godbey to their new administrative positions,” said Superintendent Leslie Lockhart. “Both, whether it was in the past or present, have been dedicated to the CCUSD students. We look forward to the contributions they will make in supporting and helping our students to grow, achieve, and excel.”

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