New Del Rio High School assistant principal Jorge Jurado recently sat down with the Del Rio News-Herald to answer a few questions about his position and experience.
Jurado, a Del Rio native, graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a bachelors degree in business administration.
DRNH: What is your background in education?
JJ: I became a math inclusion teacher at North East Independent School District for Driscoll Middle School and then about two months later I was approached by administration and they asked me if I was interested in heading the behavior unit at that middle school. So I accepted and then I was trained and I was a special ed behavior teacher, which pretty much meant that I monitored about 30 students with emotional/behavioral challenges and at times having to teach all content areas sixth through eighth. I did that for three years and then I moved to Medina Valley ISD in Castroville where I led a behavior unit for three elementary schools.”
DRNH: Why an assistant principal? What is it about the position that interested you?
JJ: I think the most important thing for me that pretty much set me in this direction was to give back, reach the kids that at some point just struggle. Being a discipline assistant principal: it’s a true blessing. That’s exactly what I pictured going into, having the background in behavior. I’ve always kind of striven to go into leadership. It’s just very powerful being able to deal with students, and you want to help them and guide them and it’s just really rewarding. I just absolutely love — and I’ve never been able to say this — but I absolutely love being an assistant principal and working with discipline.
DRNH: What qualities do you bring to the job?
JJ: I think one of the important qualities that you have to have in administration is the ability to build a team and just work with other people effectively. I strongly feel that I possess those skills. I also possess the skills of the communication. Whether it be adult to adult or adult to student. Having those good conversations where we’re maybe even trying to deescalate a bad situation. I think those are important skills, those are the qualities that, through my experiences, that I’ve acquired. It’s a good fit. And something else, like we said, we’re here for the kids. We want to help the kids, but it’s also about building our teacher capacity here. It’s about how do we get our coworkers here to keep moving forward. We do a good job, but we always need to be moving forward because education keeps moving forward.
DRNH: What is the role of an assistant principal on the high school campus?
JJ: One of the best parts I think of this experience working with Miss Varela (Erika Varela, Del Rio High assistant principal) and the other administrative team is that we pretty much share responsibilities as far as the same areas. First, we’re instructional leaders. So, we’ll get our own responsibilities but ultimately we’re instructional leaders, whether that be over a certain department or multiple departments. That’s our number one focus, but then we do branch off and take care of discipline. We take care of facilities — anything to do with maintenance, anything to do with the custodial staff — really the operations. A positive, safe learning environment for students, for all.