Principal Michelle Amezquita-Navarro
My name is Michelle Amezquita-Navarro. It is an honor and privilege to be your principal at Travis Heights. I would like to share my story and give you some insight into who I am and the path that has led me to Travis Heights Elementary. I have lived in Austin all my life and attended AISD schools for my entire educational experience. I am literally “Home Grown.”
My childhood dream was to graduate from the University of Texas, and this became reality when I received my bachelor’s. I later attended Concordia University to obtain my Master’s of Education and my Principal Certification. I have had the wonderful opportunity to work in AISD for the past 17 years. I feel that my AISD urban educational experience has helped to develop my drive and love for learning.
I hold three core values that are near and dear to my heart: family, culture, and education. My family is my biggest support system. I have been married for 12 years to my high school sweetheart. Although he attended Texas A&M, I guess it is true when they say you can’t help who you fall in love with. I am a proud parent of an AISD student who attends first grade and is quite spirited and strong-willed child. I understand the family is what connects us to one another. Celebrating and understanding who you are and where you come from is powerful. Celebrating our student’s culture is important and plays a role in their success in life and in school. Education, I believe, is catalyst for change in a person’s life. I was the first one in my family to attend and graduate from college. Since then many doors have opened up for me. I am extremely humbled and grateful for all of the opportunities I have been offered. I truly believe it takes a village to raise a child. Every individual here at Travis Heights from the office staff, the cafeteria staff, the faculty, and the custodial staff understand their crucial part and responsibility to our students within our Travis Heights Family.
When our Thunderbirds move forward in the next chapter of life’s journey, they will be ready to Lead, Serve, and Learn! They will possess the necessary skills for collaboration, communication, connection, creativity, critical thinking, and cultural proficiency. As a community we will ensure that our Thunderbirds are college ready, and have the mindset and grit to move forward when they face obstacles. Thank you again for this the opportunity to serve this amazing community.
Assistant Principal Dinorah De La Torre-Salazar
I am extremely excited to be part of the THES family! I am a firm believer that my knowledge and skills will add value to our community. I have a Bachelor of Science in Applied Learning and Development from the University of Texas at Austin. I recently graduated with my Master of Education with a Principal certification, also from UT Austin. I am honored to have been the recipient of the 2018 Martha N. Ovando Leadership Award from the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Principalship Program from the University of Texas at Austin.
Being a classroom teacher of six years and an instructional coach for two in AISD, I have had the opportunity to guide a wide range of students and teachers. As a result, I have acquired a strong skill set in effective communication, collaboration, and best practices in Math, Reading, Writing, and Science. Additionally, I have facilitated the success of both teachers and students by relationship building, co-teaching, modeling, facilitating lesson planning, tiered instructional teacher support, observation and feedback and small group instruction. Furthermore, I’ve had the opportunity to lead 3rd – 5th grade meetings in which teachers analyzed data and facilitated the creation of action plans, as well as monitored the implementation of those action plans. Moreover, I led a team of PreK – 2nd grade teachers through the effective implementation and monitoring of an action plan created to address the inequities in primary literacy. Finally, I have also had the opportunity to support with the implementation of best practices to address the needs of the whole child and with behavioral and academic interventions.
I am committed to fostering a collaborative learning environment in which the focus is to build teacher capacity and to providing an equitable educational opportunity for all students by promoting a learner-centered environment.
Outside of school, I enjoy spending free time with my family. I am the oldest of four and the only girl! We are a huge football family, so on Thursday and Friday evenings you can find me under the high school stadium lights watching my favorite football players. On Saturdays and Sundays, I’ll be cheering on my Longhorns and still trying to recover from Peyton Manning retiring. I look forward to a wonderful school year!