During her time as a researcher at the University of Iowa, Mountain View Elementary School Assistant Principal Rosaura González-Muñiz worked with the genetics of soybeans. She spent her days in a lab breeding different species of soybeans and building a new type of the legume for producers to use in various products.
Now, she spends her days building leaders within the walls of Mountain View.
“I love being a cheerleader and uplifting people,” she said. “I watch people and find their strengths, then help them apply those strengths to be a leader.”
Before coming to Mountain View as an assistant principal three years ago, Ms. González-Muñiz has been with Albemarle County Public Schools in several different capacities. She worked part-time teaching Spanish at Broadus Wood Elementary School while her kids were young, before being hired full-time at Greer Elementary School. From there, she spent some time with the ESOL office and CATEC before being brought on as an assistant principal at Stone-Robinson Elementary School in 2014.
“I fell in love with working with kids,” she said, and is the reason she decided to go back to a position in the schools. “I wanted to be near them and make more of an impact.”
Which, she said, is possibly the single most important part of being an assistant principal.
“You can have an impact on more than one classroom,” she said. “You have an impact on the entire school and school community.”
And to do just that, Ms. González-Muñiz says you have to be willing to do whatever it takes. She’s been known to pitch in with a mop, move tables around, or help with scheduling. She also works to facilitate relationships with her staff and community and to be a mentor to teachers and other staff in her school.
One of her favorite parts of being an assistant principal, she said, is helping the teachers in her school find “their element,” which is where their skills and their passion intercept to help them be a better teacher.
“I want to make sure that I support people from the ground up, so that when they have to move on, they can stand on their own,” she said.
Ms. González-Muñiz loves helping her teachers find “their element,” because she found hers in a Title 1 school. She finds joy in being able to connect with families from all different backgrounds and helping them and their students navigate the education system.
She draws from her own background as someone whose native language is not English to connect with families at her school who also speak different languages. By connecting with them on this common ground, she can better assist them in understanding not only their child’s education, but the community around them.
“I believe in a strong partnership with families, no matter where they come from,” she said.
And by making those connections, she can make sure that every student in the halls of Mountain View realizes their full potential.
“The idea of being able to give kids the opportunity to succeed is why I’m here,” she said. And she makes sure to give those opportunities to her staff as well. “My job here is to instill confidence in everyone in what they do.”