Dr. Veronica Vijil, Fabens Independent School District Superintendent, has spent her career listening to people to see how she can positively impact their lives. On Sunday, March 8, 2020, it was her turn to hear from those whose lives she’s impacted.
Vijil was recently named Distinguished Educator of the Year by the College of Education at Sam Houston State University. This is the highest honor that the university can bestow upon its alumni.
“It’s a fantastic honor for both Dr. Vijil and for the Fabens District. It confirms their [board of trustees] instinct and decision to hire a great leader,” said Clifton Tanabe, Dean of the College of Education at The University of Texas at El Paso.
“It brings positive attention to Fabens, which is always wonderful. This is an incredible community with amazing kids that deserve a leader like Dr. Vijil. Sam Houston State made a great decision in identifying this leader.”
The award recognizes and honors alumni educators who have made a significant contribution to the field of education demonstrating expertise and outstanding service in the classroom, school, district and community.
“Dr. Vijil has a way of getting people to work at their best. She has a way of making people feel like they are part of the solution,” said Armando Aguirre, Executive Director at the Education Service Center for Region 19. “She is most passionate about her students. Many say they are, but you can tell by her actions that everything she does is based on what’s best for students.”
Superintendent Vijil has created a student advisory committee to provide additional listening opportunities; this time from the students’ perspective.
“Dr. Vijil is not your typical superintendent. She takes the time to talk to us and get to know us even with the position she holds,” said Isaiah Gonzalez, a junior at Fabens High School. “She wants to hear about what’s going in our school and our community. With Dr. Vijil being here, I feel that we have a voice.”
Vijil doesn’t necessarily see herself as a role model but more as a mentor. She believes people can learn from the mistakes she has made because, according to her, she’s made a lot along the way. Her decisions are grounded in what will help others, and she believes in creating and supporting a culture of high achievement, respect, and caring within the district.
“As soon as I got to [Fabens ISD], I hit the ground running. It continues to be a flourishing district. I love the people with whom I work,” said Vijil. “They understand that I want to be connected with the students so I walk in classrooms. I see myself as a mentor. What barrier can I remove from the students at Fabens so they can be successful?”
Vijil has previously been named a Jackie Merchant Memorial Leadership Award recipient and a Spring ISD’s Secondary Principal of the Year.
Author: Alex Navarro – Fabens ISD