Focus on Leadership

"My goal is to help people and organizations."
Larry Natividad, Ed.D.
Interim Assistant Principal
Gahr High School, Cerritos
CSU/UCI Alumnus

Dr. Larry Natividad, Interim Assistant Principal at Gahr High School in Cerritos, earned his BA in International Development Studies at UC Berkeley with a focus on third world economic development. He subsequently received a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship to enter the master's program in public policy at UC Berkeley, where he focused on local economic development and education policy. Before he graduated with his MPP degree, he interned at the U.S. Department of Education, Postsecondary Education. As part of his internship, he analyzed funding allocations to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Indian Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities, and Hispanic-Serving Institutions.

After his masters program, Dr. Natividad worked in the private sector with Andersen Consulting under their Change Management practice. In this position he was influenced by various change protocols that he still references today. Following his time with Andersen Consulting, he left the San Francisco Bay Area to be part of the ground floor of building (this was prior to the dot-com bust of 2000). SchoolSoft brought him back to understanding the technical aspects of managing schools. After SchoolSoft, Dr. Natividad joined Prime Advantage, a buying group dedicated to bringing its clients the best possible savings on raw materials, components, supplies, and services.

In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, Dr. Natividad realized he wanted to do more with his talents and therefore entered the public sector of secondary education where he earned his single subject teaching credential in social science from Cal State Fullerton in 2003. Two years later he entered the CSU/UCI Joint Ed.D. in Educational Administration and Leadership, with an emphasis in K-12 Instructional Leadership. During his doctoral studies Dr. Natividad transitioned from the classroom to administration in 2007 in order to serve as Dean of Students at Gahr High School. For the 2009-2010 school year, he advanced to Interim Assistant Principal of Guidance and Curriculum at Gahr.

On October 26, 2010, Dr. Natividad successfully defended his dissertation, entitled The Impact of Conflicting Perceptions on the Role and Function of High School Guidance Counselors. 

The dissertation process made clear that current research is limited concerning the alignment of the perceived role of high school counselors among stakeholders. My quantitative methods study found both convergent and divergent themes surrounding high school counselors' roles and how others perceive their roles. Moreover, I found that counselor job descriptions were not well aligned with American School Counselor Association recommendations.
My data revealed differences between grades and school as well as gender and ethnic differences. I discovered that counselors adapted to requirements of the local site and culture, which tended to drive the importance of certain duties over others.
Factor analysis found seven latent variables that counselors seem to focus on according to the importance ratings of stakeholders: 1) College, career, and class planning; 2) School programs and communication; 3) Student personal issues; 4) Working with staff; 5) Student learning; 6) Technician, teaching, and supervision; and 7) Rules, regulations, and discipline.
Based on my findings, I recommended clearer role definition from professional organizations and identification of stakeholder perceptions that would allow counselors to develop more effective relationships and meet needs for counseling services within stakeholder expectations as well as counselor-identified need areas.

Dr. Larry D. Natividad currently is engaged in building the master schedule for Gahr High School as well as leading the guidance counseling team to better meet the needs of all Gahr students, parents, and teachers. He is also responsible for the Advanced Placement (AP) testing as well as assisting the 2011-2012 implementation of the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program for the first time at Gahr.

Since Dr. Natividad’s completion of his doctoral studies, he has been pursuing some of his favorite pastimes. He successfully ran the New Orleans Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon in February and the L.A. Marathon in March and plans to run more as time permits. Running, for Dr. Natividad, is much more than weight control, health, and the joy of running. Rather, it is meditative and allows him to think of details for work, his family life, and his personal relationships.

As I am running I am thinking about how I can use my research to help my team at Gahr High School.

Running allows Dr. Natividad to say, “Good morning” to the fellow runners he meets on the trails as well as encouraging them to “Keep it up” and, “Keep on going…you’re doing great.” He believes these positive affirmations not only help those he greets but also motivate him to complete his run as well as think about his next steps. Running also provides balance to his life as a husband and a father to two daughters; a seven- and five-year old.

Dr. Natividad realizes that his social science and change management training has not escaped him and his future goals include wanting to marry those concepts with his research studies in order to implement change on the local school-site level.

With the completion of his doctoral studies, Dr. Natividad confirms that he finally is doing some leisure reading such as Shapiro’s (2009) book, Zen and the Art of Running; Higdon’s (2005, 3rd ed.) Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide; and Shaw’s (2010, 4th ed.) The Campaign Manager: Running and Winning Local Elections.

Especially from Shaw’s book I hope to gain more insight on how I can work with ideas, people, change, process, technology, strategy, budget, time, and politics to better help people and organizations.