Principal, Mary Welty Elementary School
To me it doesn’t matter where you come from, what you’re wearing, who your parents are. I have no doubt that every child can succeed. And that’s what I tell them.
Every child has a backstory. It’s our job as teachers and administrators to learn the backstory and support that child however we can. At our school, we set high expectations for each student that comes through our doors; and we do the same for our teachers, too. I tell them, “we need to ask a lot of ourselves because we’re asking a lot of the kids.” It creates this beautiful sense of partnership, where we’re all invested in the outcome.
That’s actually the way all of Nogales approaches education. You should see our high school graduation! It’s pomp and circumstance – it’s such a grand event. Everyone in the community is there and is proud, regardless of whether they have a child graduating or not. We’re all related one way or another Nogales. We’re bound together by these deep connections. It’s what makes this town so special. I attend every year, and I see children I know or those I taught once, and I cry every time. Someone will ask me, “Oh, who do you have graduating?” and I say, “No one, but this is so wonderful!” It’s the culmination of twelve years of school that we all did as a team, and that’s something that I celebrate as an administrator and that we all celebrate as members of this community.