Conversation with our new principal, Ms. Alfaro

Stacey Jauregui, Staff Writer, Sophomore

This year, we were introduced to our new principal, Ms. Alfaro!

 Priscilla Alfaro has been an educator at Judson ISD for eight years. During her time in Judson, she has held various positions which include: science teacher, At-Risk Coordinator, assistant principal, and Academic Dean. She completed her education at Harris Stowe State University in St. Louis, MO, and finished with her Master’s at Texas A&M in San Antonio. Ms. Alfaro has been instrumental in launching several programs and initiatives at  Wagner High School in order to meet the needs of all her students. The love and passion that she has for education are evident in the leadership that she builds with students, parents, and staff. 

I decided to interview her, in order to get to know Ms. Alfaro better, and motivate students with her story!


TStorm Media: Well, as you already know, we are making a newspaper for our school, and we had to choose something to talk about, and I wanted to interview you so that you could motivate us and we could get to know you better! 

Ms. Alfaro: Okay, awesome!

TM: Great! So I’m going to start with some questions for you: Right now, what would you say that has been the most difficult part of being the new principal for our school?”

 Alfaro: Ummm, so difficult, I think I was asked that question yesterday! And I can’t say that anything has been so difficult that I felt like “Oh my god what am I doing?” I think that the parts that are difficult are difficult for everybody. You know, stepping into this role and some of my students I haven’t seen for almost a year and a half, and so just reacclimating to a school setting, to a school environment, to a lot of structure. In some ways, I may have had to be extremely strict with certain things, such as dress code and other things that we don’t quite understand why, you know, students. It’s because it is really about structure, and having to put structure into place when there hasn’t been a whole lot in the past year and a half. Not because of anybody’s fault, It’s just because of what happened. We were thrown into a global pandemic and we had to figure things out. So, I think that’s been difficult. I’ve realized that this past year and a half or two years have been really difficult for students. Not only academically but, emotionally for some, mentally for others and, financially for some families. So, that brings a lot of added stress on our students as well. Having to navigate with how we can best support students and teachers. Because, it has also been difficult for teachers and for staff, and getting used to how we used to do things. I think if something has been difficult, it has been wondering if I’m making the right decisions.  Am I being supportive enough for students, supportive enough for teachers? So, I think that’s been the most difficult part.”

TM: Oh okay, so like trying to figure out our new reality at school?

Alfaro: Yeah! Just figuring out how to kind of live again, right? We haven’t been able to, so it has been different.

TM: Yes! It’s been really stressful for everybody, so, that kind of lands into my second question: Do you think that your job is harder, compared to the principal’s before the pandemic?

Alfaro: “So, I would say it is definitely different, I would not know if it’s harder, but as I said, there are some obstacles, and one of those are like I said, getting students back on track. I think that for me, luckily, maybe not, I don’t know anything different. This is my first year as a principal and I get to walk into my first year of principal, coming back from a global pandemic. So for me, I feel like I don’t have a frame of reference. You know, I don’t know any different, this is just the way it’s supposed to be. I’m grateful for this experience, I’ve always been of a mindset that if I can do certain things and I can overcome certain obstacles, then anything after that is going to be easy. 

TM: Wow! Haha, that is really cool! So, how do you manage to maintain a balance between school and homework? 

 Alfaro: I don’t, I can tell you that I’m lucky to have a very very supportive husband, and I’m lucky to have a very supportive mother. I have, we have, my husband and I have an 18- year-old who graduated here last year. We also have a two-year-old and a 1- year-old, and so there is no balance. I work a lot, my husband has figured out that he is going to be mostly the person who is raising our two youngest kids. I think that he also supports me because he knows who I am, he knows what my dreams are, he knows what my desires are. We’ve been together since high school. There have been times wherein our relationship we’ve had to sacrifice for each other and so right now, he’s just supporting me. I would lie if I didn’t tell you I was tired, I’m exhausted. But, just like we’ve just talked about, my mom didn’t build a quitter. You know what I mean, It’s like “Hey keep going, life’s hard and you’ll be okay.” I can say that I’m trying to get better at it, but I’m lucky that I have a husband that when I get home, my kids are good and dinner is ready. He is allowing me to do what I need to do for myself, as a woman and as a mother to be able to be that role model for our children.

TM: Aww, that is so cute! Now, my next question is: Have you felt any difference in your mental or emotional health since you became the principal?

Alfaro: So here is what I will say, that this is a very mentally taxing job. Okay, you have to make a lot of decisions and you have to make them really fast. I can say that emotionally, I’ve been so excited! Just about what I see. I’ve been so excited about how I feel we are transforming as a campus, everything from our student’s section just being involved, coming out to games, and participating in things. You know what we are doing for the Hispanic heritage month spirit week and getting students involved. I would say that if anything is emotional to me, it’s like positive emotion, it’s not negative. I’ve always told myself that I would never cry or get emotional about something, because somebody made me upset, or tried to hurt me. So, if you ever see me crying it’s because of happy tears and I’m super excited or super proud or whatever the case is. So a lot of times when I go back I reflect on how this year has come together and how well our kids are doing and how y’all are acclimating and how teachers are coming together. It’s the little things that get me really really excited. I can say mentally, yes, physically yes, I need sleep, but emotionally I don’t feel that it’s been emotionally draining. I have a good team, I have good people around me. Every day I laugh, every day is a good day!

TM: Great, so you told me that you had a really supportive husband, and you’re a mother of three, what or who would you say that motivates you the most?

Alfaro: I would say probably, my kids. My kids are definitely my motivation, I was a teenage mom. I would definitely say that my number one motivator was my oldest son. Because I was young when I had him, and I had to grow up fast. I had to make some very very tough decisions, but he truly motivated me because I wanted to always be a role model for him. I would say also my kids now, I still want to be a role model for them. Still want them, especially my daughter, to understand that it is not easy, but as a woman, you can do it all. If you want to have a career, and have a family just be the best that you can be. I’ve always thought in those terms, if I’m a consistent role model for my kids, then hopefully they’ll see what I’m doing and even though they may have to sacrifice sometimes, because mom does work a lot or because mom is busy. They will at least appreciate it when they’re older. It’s for them, it’s for my family. I think it’s a lot of things that motivate me, just wanting to be that person who is the first to walk to be an example and say “Here I am, you can do it, I did it!” So, I think that’s always on the back of my mind and that’s why I am in education. I’m not the perfect person, definitely wasn’t the perfect teenager. If you ask my mom, she has a whole bunch of stories, but I’m okay!. There are a lot of people that motivate me, Y’all motivate me! I find motivation in all the good things that I can see.

TM: That is really good! I can see that you are a very positive person!

Alfaro: I try to be! I realized a long time ago that it takes so much energy to be negative, and it takes so much energy to find the bad. If you could just focus on what’s good, your energy is different. You surround yourself with positive energy and light-minded people who are also positive and y’all just build each other up. Life has never been easy, but those are the things that I’ve had to go through in order to be who I am today.

TM: Perfect! That is all for today, thank you so much for your time and you have a really motivational story!