Gloria Trejo Principal, Pioneer School, West Chicago, Ill.
Career Highlights & Education: I have served in various capacities for over 20 years in public education. I have taught at the elementary level, been a district administrator as well as being an elementary principal. I have enjoyed the daily interactions with students, teachers and families. My greatest pride as a building principal revolves around the strong relationships that I have established with students, staff and families. Focusing on the importance of relationships has directly impacted student’s reading and learning, while addressing the obstacles that impede it.
In April 2017, I was honored in being named “Latino Administrator of the Year” through ALAS. Most recently, (December 2017), I was named “Elementary Principal of the Year” for DuPage County. I feel honored to have been recognized for doing the work that I feel so passionate about.
What I like best about my job: It is my job to empower and inspire students, teachers and families to ensure their maximum potential in various facets. It is exciting to observe the growth amongst all groups. What’s even more exciting is having former students/families visit and tell me about their successes. I feel honored when families share their celebrations.
The best advice I’ve ever received: The best advice I received and have continuously heard it through ALAS is “Don’t be afraid of losing your job that you don’t do your job!” Working in the educational field can be challenging, especially during this time and it is our job to do what’s best for students and their future. Sometimes decisions that we make or have to make are not always received well. However, we need to continue to make difficult decisions for the betterment of our students.
Advice you would give a new school leader: Keep a journal in your office at all times and make sure you write down unique/unusual events. There are many funny, sad, and rewarding memories that you will enjoy reflecting on. Our days are so busy, that at the time you are experiencing these events, you may not be able to truly appreciate them fully. This journal will hold these memories until you are ready to truly enjoy the moments.
If I ever snuck out of work early, I would probably be found: If I ever snuck out of work early, I would probably be found sitting in my parent’s sunroom enjoying their company. It is my sanctuary away from my daily stresses. Walking in their home instantly makes me feel like I am being cared for as if I were still their young child. It also helps that my mother is an amazing cook and assures that I am fed when I visit.
People would be surprised to know: People would be surprised to know that I read books and magazines starting from the last page. Don’t ask me why because I have no idea!
One thing I wish more people knew about ALAS: I wish more people knew that ALAS is an astounding organization that welcomes ALL administrators with the same vision and mission. Collaboratively, we can have a direct impact on how policy can be guided to both support the work we are doing and change the way we do education.