Principal, Whittier Elementary School
The tools to turn around a school
I've spent my entire career giving back to the bilingual Latino community in Chicago—first as a teacher, then as an administrator, and now as a principal. All of that professional experience, coupled with the education and support I received at Loyola, helped me turn around a struggling school.
Whittier Elementary School had been on probation for several years when I arrived, and there was a sense of distrust in the community toward the district office. I began building relationships with my staff and parents and started a "coffee with the principal" meeting every month with community members.
After my second year, the school was moved off probation status. We still have work to do, but I'm confident that we'll continue to improve—and I'm thankful for everything I learned at Loyola.