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Principal's Page

Image of Dr. Dustin O'Malley

Ladera Families,

Welcome to the 2022-2023 school year at Ladera Elementary School! I am excited to welcome back our returning Ladera Leopards and all of our new students.  This is my 4th year as principal of Ladera and my 7th year as a principal in TUSD. I have worked in Tustin Unified for the past 17 years in various positions including elementary school teacher, middle school teacher, “Digital Learning Coach”, assistant principal, and as principal of Tustin Connect K-12. 

I grew up in the nearby city of Cypress, attended UC Irvine for my undergraduate degree, and then later obtained a master’s degree in educational leadership from Concordia University and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Southern California. I live in Tustin with my wonderful wife Kaitlyn, 11-year-old son Hudson, 9-year-old son Parker, and 4-year-old daughter Chloe. My children proudly attend TUSD schools!

The Ladera staff is fully committed to work closely with parents and all stakeholders to build upon Ladera’s legacy of excellence and achievement. Ladera is fortunate to have highly skilled and caring teachers that are fully dedicated to support students’ academic, social, and emotional needs. Ladera also has incredible community and parent involvement, particularly from the amazing PTO. I hope that you will become a member of our PTO and participate in the many opportunities to volunteer.  

Effective communication between parents, teachers, students, and administrators is one of the key pillars of a successful school. Please contact your child’s teacher or me if you ever have a concern, a great idea to share, or just feel that it would be helpful to talk through something. 

I invite our families to join us in our many activities and events this year. Please look for information in our weekly emails from teachers and be sure to check our website for additional information throughout the year. 

I look forward to a year of meaningful learning and growth. This will be a great year!



Dr. Dustin O’Malley