Principal Nunez talks about the teacher that made a difference for him and the difference he wants to make for his students.
December 19, 2017
#6DegreesofLVV aims to capture the personal stories of corps members and alumni currently serving in Las Vegas. The person featured in each story connects to the person prior in a number of different ways. Both individually and collectively, these unique stories will show you a new side of Las Vegas education.
I first considered getting into education because my high school chemistry teacher suggested that I join Teach For America. I went to college with a plan to become a high school chemistry teacher but decided to switch my major to sociology and a minor in women’s studies. This provided me with the opportunity to study how gender, race, and class all play a role in our society and lives. At that point, I came across Teach For America again, which then made me think back on my own educational experience.
Growing up, I did not have a great elementary experience. I was half Hispanic and half white, and my peers and teachers really didn’t quite know how to engage me. It wasn’t until eighth grade when my algebra teacher change the course of my life. Not only did she tell me that I was smart, but she recommended me for an advanced math class. She told me that even though the class was going to be hard, I needed to take it so that I could take honors and AP courses, and eventually get into college. I didn’t really understand what she meant in that moment, but I looking back I now understand that because of her, my course was corrected. While in college I had the opportunity to reflect on how significant the impact an individual can be on a student’s life, and decided I wanted to make that kind of impact.
Fast forward to today, and I am a principal in CCSD. I work in the Turnaround Zone, which is a group of schools who have been identified as in need of rapid improvement due to their persistent underperformance. The Zone works to conduct a thorough internal and external review of the school’s needs, than holds a rigorous principal selection process to identify an individual who can create organic change from within the school. I ‘ve been so fortunate to be an elementary and a middle school principal in this zone, and I get up every day with a clear vision of what I am trying to do for my community-create the most effective academic and social-emotional systems and supports. While the challenge is significant, I am inspired by the great impact I see my colleagues making in our community each day. I cannot emphasize enough that our results are the work of many great individuals. I make this clear to all prospective applicants by sending them a vision that clearly states, “This is not the Anthony show.” Just like my chemistry and algebra teachers changed my life, I want to leverage and develop the many talents of my staff members to meet the myriad needs of our students. I believe I achieved this in my previous elementary school, and I am looking forward to meeting the challenge of leading a middle school now.
Do you know someone with a great story of collective impact to share? Tell us here: http://bit.ly/2zdLQ7t