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It was a day full of surprises on Thursday as Superintendent Richard Carranza, Chief Academic Officer Grenita Lathan and school board members, made their rounds to name the district’s 2018 Principals of the Year at Braeburn Elementary School and Jones Futures Academy.
Braeburn Elementary School Principal Santos Reyes was crowned as HISD’s Elementary Principal of the year, while Jones Futures Academy Principal Geovanny Ponce was named HISD’s Secondary Principal of the Year.
“It’s an amazing feeling to be able reward our administrators for all of their hard work and commitment. It’s important to let our staff know that their sacrifices have paid off,” Superintendent Carranza said.
It was hard for students at Jones Future Academy to keep quiet in the cafeteria as they eagerly anticipated the arrival of 25-year education veteran Principal Ponce Thursday morning.
“I’m overwhelmed by the amount of support I’ve received this morning,” Ponce said. “When I woke up this morning I couldn’t have imagined having this opportunity come into fruition. This means everything to me.”
There was a wave of emotion that filled the cafeteria as Board Trustee Jolanda Jones expressed her deep admiration for Ponce, especially from former staff members that joined the celebration and are now serving as administrators across the district.
“Principal Ponce has taken lemons out of Jones and turned them into lemonade,” Jones said. “He consistently makes this campus, his students and administrators a priority, above anyone else. He’s leaving a legacy for all of you.”
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Six months ago Principal Reyes was battling the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, including the damage to his Braeburn Elementary campus. With more than 15 years of experience as the campus’ principal, Reyes spirit has an unwavering spirit of positivity that has kept his staff and students’ spirits high.
“After everything we’ve gone through this year, this award is not just for me. It’s for you (students) and it’s for our teachers,” Reyes said. “Everything that I do, I cannot do alone and I appreciate all the hard work and commitment from you and our staff.”
Both winners will advance to the state’s regional principal of the year competition.