Principal leads elementary to distinction status

SANTA ROSA — Superintendent Heriberto Villarreal had to call Principal Sylvia Ramos right away.

He had just received word Barrera Elementary received a five-star rating from the Texas Education Agency.

When Ramos answered the phone, the news hit her so hard, it was silence on the other end of the phone.

So, he emailed the TEA summary so she could see the results for herself.

The email validated what Ramos set out to do when she took the job as the Barrera Elementary principal three years ago — reach for the stars.

“I know it’s been a challenge, but from day one she said we were going to get here,” Villarreal said.

The school had never received a single distinction before now.

“My staff deserves every bit of credit for this,” Ramos said.

The hard work, dedication and passion to teach the students the right way daily was all it took to turn Barrera into a five-star school.

District officials and teachers were also excited about the news.

The teachers received the red carpet treatment, and toasted a candy-cupcake filled champagne glass to celebrate the TEA honor and share the news with them on their first day back yesterday.

The school received the five-star distinction for reading, math, student progress, performance and readiness.

In Ramos’ third year as principal she has been able to turn the school around.

Between the three schools in the district, this year marks the first time the Texas Education Agency recognized the district’s elementary school.

“Everyone is on the same page making sure our children are successful,” Ramos said. “Everybody made the difference.”

Santa Rosa Elma E. Barrera Elementary School received state standard designation in five areas.

Academic Achievement in ELA/Reading

Academic Achievement in Mathematics

Top 25 percent student progress

Top 25 percent closing performance gaps

Postsecondary readiness