School: Arroyo Seco Elementary School in Livermore
Background: Esmat has served as principal at Arroyo Seco for five years. Prior to that, she worked in San Ramon as a vice principal, an instructional coach and a teacher. Though she did not originally have education as a career goal, Esmat said she always wanted to help people.
“I was going to Berkeley to go to law school,” she said. “I was visiting some schools as part of a class and noticed the difference between the schools I was visiting in different parts of Oakland, and it intrigued me. It came to a point where I enjoyed talking to the kids, and I felt like it came naturally to me, and I felt it would be a better route.”
Esmat changed paths to graduate with a degree in education. She enjoyed her classroom so much, she decided to expand her impact by climbing the administration ladder.
“I saw the difference I made within my classroom as a teacher,” she said. “Now, I feel like I’m making more of an impact working with teachers and students than just with a group of students in my classroom.”
Fun fact: Esmat’s family immigrated to the United States when she was 2 years old. As someone who has struggled to learn a new language and culture, she now wants to be there to help other families face the same issues she and her family overcame.
Favorite part of the job: “The kids,” Esmat said. “The relationships I have with the students and the community and my teachers are the best part of my job.”
Esmat lives near the California Delta with her husband and their dog. She loves cooking, eating, staying active and spending time with her family.