Del Obispo Elementary Home
Principal's Message

Welcome to Del Obispo!




Del Obispo Elementary, located in the historic city of San Juan Capistrano, reflects the benefits of blending old with new. Our faculty represents experience and new perspectives: we have teachers who have come to Del Obispo and have made it their home away from home.   Del Obispo’s staff of approximately 15 teachers, Principal, Elementary Teaching Assistant Principals and classified staff are part of the larger school community, which includes parents, local support agencies and businesses. Del Obispo is fortunate to have an active PTA and strong family involvement in school activities, as well as a dedicated School Site Council comprised of parents, teachers and staff members. There is a strong volunteer spirit at Del Obispo; we even have several volunteers whose children or grandchildren once attended Del Obispo.

Del Obispo is part of a three school complex, including Kinoshita Elementary and Marco Forster Middle School, fostering collaboration and cross-school connections, including cross-age tutoring and Big Buddy classes. The 38 year-old campus is proudly maintained.   As a part of our Character Education program at Del Obispo, street signs are posted along passageways, including Responsibility Road, Citizenship Way and Caring Lane.  We have posters around our campus reminding students of how to live their life with character.  Our Dragon Awards are based on our Character Traits by trimester.   Our first trimester focus is on Responsibility and Caring.  Our second trimester focus is trustworthy and Respect.  Our last trimester is Citizenship and Fairness.

At Del Obispo, we believe that all students can and will learn. To this end, we provide early and ongoing in class interventions in reading, math and English language acquisition, as well as enrichment and acceleration for students. Student progress is monitored closely, through the Benchmark Tests from Action Learning, which assesses student achievement in Mathematics and Language Arts based on the state standards.  Kindergarten, first grade, and second grade monitor the students reading skills through  assessments.

Students can be recognized for their accomplishments at our morning flag assembly, where one student is selected to be the Student of the Day and to lead the school in the Pledge of Allegiance; at any of our three Dragon Award Assemblies each year where a student is recognized for his/her character trait during the trimester and with Dragon Dollars, which are given to students for good behavior and selected on a weekly basis.

Our school is proud to work with the GRIP (Gang Reduction and Intervention Program).  The City of San Juan, the District Attorney's office, Police Services, the schools in San Juan, and CUSD strive to keep students away from gangs through character building activities and youth curriculum programs taught at the school in 4th grade.  Look for our parent education nights in October and march this year to learn more.

All of these components work together to create a safe community for learners which builds responsible, adaptable, independent future citizens with strong links to home and community.

Welcome to Del Obispo!

Mr. Gruenewald


About your Principal

Mr. Gruenewald is currently in his 8th year as Principal as Del Obispo Elementary.

Mr. Gruenewald grew up in Mission Viejo and attended all CUSD schools up through high school.  He went to Barcelona for kindergarten, Castille for 1st-6th grade, Newhart Junior High for 7th and 8th, and then Capistrano Valley High School.  He graduated in 1990.  Mr. Gruenewald then attended the University of California at Riverside and graduated in 1994.  He then completed his teaching credential in 1995 at UCR.  Mr Gruenewald spent 6 years teaching in Jurupa Unified School District.  During that time he taught the following grade levels: 1/2, 5/6, and 2nd grade.

 In 2001, Mr. Gruenewald moved back to Southern Orange County.

In 2002, Mr. Gruenewald married Jamie Neal.  Mrs. Gruenewald taught math at Newhart Middle School for eight years.   Currently she has a full time job taking care of our daughter and dog at home.  Mr. and Mrs. Gruenewald love spending time together with their extra large Akita.  The Gruenewald's are fortunate to have Mr. Gruenewald's parents close by.  From time to time you will see the parents of your principal around the school.  Mr. Gruenewald's mother is a regular volunteer in the office on Wednesday. Make sure to say hello to my family when you see them at many of our school-wide events.

 On January 21, 2010, Mr. and Mrs. Gruenewald were thrilled to have Katie Ann Gruenewald join their family.  As all children do, the addition of Katie has brought new meaning to the Gruenewald's life and a much larger smile to Mr. G.'s face.  You might see Katie around campus during special events like our carnival, campouts, Swallow's Day parade,  Open House, and other night events.  You may notice Katie sporting her  Dragon attire,  wearing pajamas at the Read-A-Thon, or  finding a way to show school spirit in any way she can.  She enjoys being a honoree dragon and seeing all of our wonderful students.   Beware......she has a mighty roar at times.

The Gruenewald's enjoy spending time at Disneyland and California Adventure.  Mr. G and Katie love the roller coasters!  Katie is almost 42 inches and is near the age where she can ride Goofy's Flying School and the Matterhorn.  She is already an expert on Cars, Space Mountain, Tower of Terror, and Splash Mountain.  Ask her about a ride and she will tell you her favorite part.  Mr. Gruenewald loves his "Daddy/Daughter days" when Mrs. Gruenewald goes scrapbooking.

In the few minutes he has to relax, Mr. Gruenewald loves to go to movies, read, and play basketball.

Mr. Eric Gruenewald, School Principal

Mr. Eric Gruenewald, School Principal
Mr. Gruenewald's puppy Mr. Gruenewald with his father at a UCLA Basketball game Katie arrives Mr. G. meets his hero with his nephew Akita is all grown up Mr. and Mrs. Gruenewald Go Dragons! IMAG0577.jpg Go Angels! Katie and her father love roller coasters Mr. and Mrs. Gruenewald enjoy California Adventures Katie meets Darth Vader Meeting Mike
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