Waco: School principal inspires students by defying stereotypes
Kendrick Elementary Principal Isabel Lozano never thought she would get a college degree let alone be in charge of an elementary school.
Lozano was born in San Antonio and was reared in Waco by her two Mexican parents who migrated to the United States in the 1960s.
Lozano attended Bell Hills Elementary School, University Middle School and graduated from University High school.
She says, at the time she never thought college was in the books for her.
“I am a daughter of two immigrants, I am not meant to go to college,” Lozano said.
After graduating from high school she went to work as a secretary for the Waco ISD’s bilingual program and it wasn’t until the program's director, Yolanda Lopez, encouraged her to go to college that Lozano considered it.
Lopez then helped Lozano enroll in classes at McLennan Community College and Lozano went on to become the first person in her family to get a college degree.
“I can't believe where God has really taken me, it's just, I don't even know how I got here, I think it's just hard work. My parents always instilled in me that hard work and determination is the key to success,” Lozano said.
Now she serves as a role model to her three children and all the students at Kendrick Elementary, a school where more than 70 percent of the students are Hispanic.
Lozano says she keeps her Hispanic heritage alive by always speaking Spanish to her children, making traditional foods and visiting Mexico as often as she can.
“I think speaking the language is important because if you lose the language you lose everything,” Lozano said.
More importantly, Lozano continues to spread her Hispanic Heritage through leading by example showing and inspiring children that anything is possible.
(To mark Hispanic Heritage Month KWTX is profiling Hispanic leaders in the community. This is the second in a series of stories)