Photo: Juan Reyes

The Hollister School District is proud to announce five sites have been named as Capturing Kids’ Hearts National Showcase Schools for 2023-24. 

The five recognized sites this academic year include the Accelerated Achievement Academy, Calaveras Elementary School, Cerra Vista Elementary School, Ladd Lane Elementary School and Rancho Santana School. 

Capturing Kids’ Hearts is a two-day training that equips educators to implement processes focused on cultivating relational capacity, improving school culture, strengthening trust, building self-managing classrooms, creating accountability, improving academics and fostering trauma-informed care, according to the Flippen Group, which organizes the sessions and recognizes showcase sites.  

The model abides by the famous quote from Capturing Kids’ Hearts founder Flip Flippen: “If you have a child’s heart, you have a child’s mind.” 

Cerra Vista Elementary School Principal Tami Ortiz said she wants to build on the momentum from this year’s showcase honor and expects even more improvements going forward. 

“I’m excited because it’s our first year, and it’s really reflective of the staff caring about the students and our families,” she said. “So I’m really more excited for the staff. Their hard work is showing in the relationships with the kids and staff.” 

Ladd Lane Elementary School Principal Jeannine Ostoja said the site is thrilled to be recognized for the fifth year in a row. Ostoja said at Ladd Lane, every interaction with a student is an opportunity to make a positive difference. 

“This prestigious designation reflects the school’s commitment to fostering strong relationships and creating a positive school culture where every student feels valued and supported,” Ostoja said. 

This is the fifth consecutive Capturing Kids’ Hearts National Showcase School Award for Calaveras/AAA, noted Calaveras Elementary School Principal Ken Woods. 

“This is a team award and a tribute to the hard work and dedication of all staff. We have created a positive school climate through a relationship-driven culture,” Woods said. “We focus on the social-emotional well-being of all of our students and make sure that everyone feels welcome, appreciated and important.” 

Rancho Santana School Principal Anissa Dizon expressed pride in the site receiving the national showcase honor for all three years of its existence. 

“I am so proud of our staff and scholars,” Dizon said. “We take great pride in our relationship building, and building relationships is actually one of our school’s core values.”

Capturing Kids’ Hearts training sessions are focused on processes—how educators interact with students and explore their needs, said Ron Fox with the Flippen Group. 

“By exploring those needs, they get a really good feeling that we care about them,” Fox said. 

Fox emphasized the importance of building relationships while being intentional with those behaviors that help build climate and culture in the classroom. He underscored the showcase recognition is prestigious, noting that just 612 schools are national showcase honorees among thousands with which the Flippen Group works. 

For more on the program, go to

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