A product of Ector County ISD, Adonica Galindo is now the newly minted principal of Gonzales Elementary School.
Galindo has been with the district for 22 years.
Initially, she was undecided about going into education.
“Right after high school, I started working for the district. I was serving as a special education aide. But I still didn’t know what I wanted to do. I think after that first semester working, I thought this is the environment; this is what I like. There’s always just that daily movement; the pace; the challenge. Everything was worthwhile for me, so I pursued that,” Galindo said.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in history and multicultural studies from the University of Texas Permian Basin and her master’s in educational leadership, also from UTPB.
Currently, she is working toward a doctorate in educational leadership from Capella University, but that is on the back burner for now as she takes on her new job.
Executive Director for Leadership Cindy Retana said Galindo was part of the Aspiring Leaders Academy this past year and has served in several different roles as an educator.
“Her experience and commitment to students, campus stakeholders and community will no doubt take Gonzales to the next level,” Retana said.
Becoming an administrator was a natural progression for most recently, Galindo was the assistant principal at Ross Elementary School and was selected as part of a pool of candidates for future principal openings.
She also was named assistant elementary principal of the year by ECISD.
“… It’s a matter of, you know what, I love what I’m doing. Let’s take it further; let’s take it further. So I went from an aide to the classroom. After eight years in the classroom, I went into curriculum, which just broadened my lens quite a bit. Then from curriculum, I stepped into assistant principal. It’s one of those things that just kind of happens; everything is in the right place and you take that next step when the timing is right,” Galindo said.
Having been approved as a principal before she had a destination was kind of nerve racking. But she loved that the district administrators had faith in her.
“… It’s been a blessing, but all in due time. I’m very proud to serve,” she added.
She added that there are many wonderful candidates out there.
“… We’ve got some natural born leaders in our district and to be recognized and be given this opportunity, I’m honored to do my best to work for this for the school. I love my district,” Galindo said.
She added that she didn’t think anyone was ever ready to become a principal. Her first official day was July 1.
“It’s just a matter of … I still don’t know what I don’t know. But I definitely have no fear. I want to step in with confidence. … I feel like I have confidence, but to say, Oh yeah, I know exactly what I’m doing. No; no. That’s the beauty of the job. That’s the beauty of it is overcoming those challenges, getting through those barriers. And that I can do,” Galindo said.
About 470 students attend Gonzales in grades prekindergarten through fifth. There are 24 on the instructional staff, not including paraprofessionals.
She said in a June 27 interview that she is currently in the process of interviewing for an assistant principal for the campus.
Her goal for Gonzales is to make the campus realize its potential and become an A-rated campus under state accountability standards.
“… My staff needs to understand how powerful they are; their strength. Looking at scores, it can be disheartening when you see kind of a dive in the scores. But I think that’s going to be our motivation for change, for growth, for our next step. Where does our path go from here? It’s nowhere but up,” Galindo said.
Right now, she said she believes Gonzales is a C-rated campus as of 2019.
What appeals to her about being a principal and assistant principal is the challenge.
“Where there’s some defeat, there’s always those wins and it’s working with and developing your staff, your families, your children. There’s nothing better than greeting your kiddos by name in the morning and your staff and seeing them happy. Going back to goals, I want a happy campus. I want happy teachers, students and families. We all want the same things. We all want successful kiddos and equality and that takes teamwork,” Galindo said.
“I’m charged with a huge job, but I know I can’t do it alone. I need my people. That’s one thing that I’ve learned and really enjoy. … In my administrative, my leadership path, it’s been holding on to the humanity of the job because you don’t want to lose touch with the fact that you’re working with mothers and fathers and sisters and daughters. I value a person, not just what they’re bringing to the school. And in doing that I think you nurture their individuality and then you can celebrate their wins as a teacher,” Galindo added.