I am blessed. I am principal and lead learner of El Milagro. I have been here for nine years. Throughout my career as an educator I have been a classroom teacher, a coach, a race and human relations consultant, a university professor and a principal in some different kinds of schools. I was a principal in Solana Beach. I was the principal at Rancho Del Campo High School, a facility for incarcerated youth. I was the Executive Director of San Diego County’s Juvenile Court Schools.
But now I come to work every day at a place we call “El Milagro”– the miracle. Our real name is Mueller Charter School, but just when the vice grip of the crazy edicts of No Child Left Behind are squeezing others, we stay focussed on our students. We celebrate the many ways that they are unique and gifted and talented. We build on their language and their capacity for creative and critical thinking. We strengthen their foundation literacy skills. We don’t teach to raise our test scores. We teach to raise our children. So naturally… our test scores have risen dramatically.
I’m also blessed because the teachers and staff and students and children of this community are extraordinary. I admire the work that they do together so I wrote a book about it. It is called “The Lights of El Milagro: How One Charter School Could Transform Public Education.” It is the story of some very gifted educators; resilient, creative, committed, courageous. Every adult that works here knows that there is something very special happening and that there is meaning to their life’s work… and that their legacy has a name. And it is “El Milagro” too.