David Correia, Jr.: 'We can’t forget what it’s like to be a kid'
David Correia, Jr.
Walter Colton Middle School
Walter Colton Middle School Community Liaison David Correia, Jr. never thought his loss prevention days in retail in Los Angeles would parlay into a community liaison engaging with 12, 13, and 14 year olds and their families. Turns out it was the perfect segue, and David transitioned seamlessly into this role six years ago.
“Catching shoplifters and doing internal investigations is vastly different from talking to kids,” says David. “But honestly this job is the best I’ve ever had.”
When he was in school, no one assisted him and he was second to the bottom of his class. No one had faith in him or pushed him. “I refuse to let kids get to that point. I am not going to let them fail because of me,” he states.
David was looking at ways to give back to the community when he came across an ad for campus monitor at Walter Colton Middle School, but he had no experience with schools and kids, and did not think he would have a chance at the opportunity. His daughter encouraged him to apply, he got the job as campus monitor and did so well that he quickly took on the role of community liaison.
David was recently recognized for his dedication and attention to students by a colleague. “David is fair, just, understanding, and he is patient with every student. He can be relied upon to help with the toughest of kids from the roughest backgrounds to a student who just needs a break in life. Whether it is simply calling upon Dave to walk a special needs pupil out to meet a new driver and help them feel safe and comfortable on the ride home or standing before a bus full of rowdy teenagers to calm them down before the ride home, there is never any doubt he will wear the appropriate hat and handle the situation as it is deemed necessary.”
Each day, David wakes up wondering what the new day will bring. No day is ever the same, but it starts by greeting kids, which he says is the most important thing to do. Their expressions help me determine if it’s going to be a good or bad day for them. “A team of us in Room A-6 partner and communicate with administration, teachers, and students to see what the opportunities at school that day will be.”
Humble and unassuming, David’s goal is to come to school and do what is right for kids, parents and staff. “It is the right thing to do. I don’t look for kudos or anything. It’s nice to know I am doing the right thing,” he says. He even has students come up to him to thank him for the difference he has made in his life.
“We can’t forget what it’s like to be a kid. Many of us grow up and adopt that ‘get out of my yard’ mentality. We all used to be young, and we have to remember what it’s like and realize kids nowadays have so many issues and family problems. We really support them as best as we can with compassion and support, and discipline with a consequence if appropriate. I always tell my kids that I will always have their back when they're in room A-6.”
In addition to his routine job responsibilities, he works with students on the school yearbook, oversees the Junior Wings program (where Monterey partners with a sister city in Nanao, Japan), runs the photography, anime, and Japanese clubs.
Outside of work, he is attending Monterey Peninsula College to obtain his associate arts degree in either fall 2022 or spring 2023. He enjoys photography and is on the board of directors of a Monterey-based junior roller derby team.
David and his wife reside in Seaside, and he has been a resident of the Central Coast for 14 years. He has four daughters, three who attend University of California at Davis, California State University Monterey Bay, Monterey High School, and one who lives in Florida.