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Get to Know the New Director of Community Engagement

By Ian MacMaster, director of marketing and communications
La Jolla Country Day School is excited to share that Chelsey Watkins will soon be stepping into the role of director of community engagement. She is thrilled to begin guiding and supporting the Parents Association, participating in future Blue Bash fundraisers, and coordinating the school’s centennial celebration. 

Since joining LJCDS in 2020 to oversee the Lower School admission process, Chelsey has gone above and beyond to make families feel a sense of belonging and connectedness. Read the Q&A below to learn more about how Chelsey brings people together.


Q: For the past four years, you’ve walked alongside new families during the admissions process. What is one thing you share with new families that every member of the LJCDS community can be excited about?

Chelsey Watkins: From the moment I joined the Torrey community, one word has resonated with me most when discussing LJCDS—opportunity. The possibilities within our school community are endless, not only for our students but for our faculty, staff and families. I love sharing with prospective families that our community thrives on new ideas, values different perspectives and nurtures an individual’s passions. This is only possible through the hard work and dedication of our incredible educators who work tirelessly with students every day. Not only are they creating that spark within a student, but our teachers continue to fan the flame by providing incredible opportunities and mentorship throughout the student’s journey at LJCDS and beyond. This is what gets prospective families excited about joining the LJCDS community, and this is one of many things our Torreys can be proud of when they step foot on campus.


Q: What are you most looking forward to in your new role as director of community engagement?

CW: Throughout my 20-year career as an educator, I have come to understand the transformational power of a school community that is connected and engaged. No matter my role within a school, I would always find myself planning events and experiences that would bring people together. The joy I feel when I can help facilitate positive connections between members of a larger community is what truly motivates me. My new role will allow me the opportunity to pursue this passion at the highest level. I look forward to working alongside our incredible parent community across all divisions, hearing about their experiences, and allowing them to share new ideas and dream big. I like to make things happen!


Q: As a current Torrey parent, you have excellent insight into what other parents and guardians are looking for when it comes to feeling connected at LJCDS. Draw a picture of what our parent community could look like and why you want to be a part of it

CW: It is important for our families to know that LJCDS is not just a place for their children to grow and thrive but also for them to do so. I am constantly in awe of the many talents and areas of expertise of our parents. My vision of our future community is one where parents and guardians openly and actively share their gifts to benefit all students. 

As a parent, I deeply understand the desire to feel heard, seen and connected to my child’s life experiences. I also appreciate that as my child grows and matures, things will shift and change for me as a parent. I see my role as essential in helping our families find meaningful ways to stay engaged as they grow and change throughout their own parenting journey. 


Chelsey will finish the school year as the associate director of admission and start full-time in her new role on July 1, 2024.
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9490 Genesee Avenue
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