Currently, Richard Vernon Moore serves as the Executive Director of the Office of Youth Advocacy in the San Diego Unified School District. In this unique and innovative position, Vernon tackles the equity challenges in a large, urban school district. Among his many duties, Vernon is the primary liaison for the district’s numerous community-based, constituency groups, including the Blueprint to Accelerate the Achievement of African American and African Students Task Force, the Latino Advisory Committee, and the LGBTQ+ Community Advisory Committee.
Vernon also serves as the executive leader for the following departments: Race Human Relations and Advocacy, Placement and Appeal, School Attendance Review Board, and Dropout Prevention. Ultimately, Vernon sees his role as advocating for each and every student throughout the pre-K through 12+ system to have multiple, supported pathways to academic and school success. In 2014, Vernon completed his doctoral program at San Diego State University; his dissertation research, titled Bureaucracy in Urban High Schools, explored how organizational structures affect student achievement. In 2009, Vernon accepted a very challenging assignment; he was the principal of ALBA Community Day School. ALBA is a specialized school serving students that have been expelled from the San Diego Unified School District. The school’s motto is Empowering Students: Changing Lives. In this leadership position, Vernon forged dynamic partnerships with civic entities such as the North Park Community Association and Urban Youth Collaborative in an effort to provide extraordinary learning and service opportunities for this very unique student population.
In 2007, Vernon went to the newly rebuilt Lincoln High School, where he served as principal. There, he designed and implemented a comprehensive arts program featuring dance, music, choir, drama and technical theater as well as visual and multimedia arts. At Lincoln High School, Vernon worked to establish viable partnerships with major regional arts organizations, such as The Old Globe Theater, Mainly Mozart, and California Ballet.
Prior to 2007, Vernon spent the previous decade serving in a variety of capacities—from teacher at the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts, a premier magnet school; to literacy administrator of Scripps Ranch High School, one of the highest performing schools in California.
In all of Vernon’s roles, he has consistently advocated for students—especially those on the margins or labeled as “at-risk.” In that advocacy, Vernon has remained committed to develop and sustain multiple opportunities for all students the make salient connections to school and experience success.