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Eloisa Solis
Central Elementary School
Las Cruces Public Schools
Las Cruces, New Mexico

In her eight years at Central Elementary School, Principal Eloisa Solis has established a culture of respect by embracing diversity and sharing her leadership role with the entire school community. At Central, 83 percent of students are Hispanic or Latino, and many are Second Language Learners. However, Solis does not view language as a barrier, but rather as an opportunity. She recently created a new model that will turn Central into the first Dual Language Magnet School in the district. Solis also values individual strengths and recruits parents and other community members to lead alongside her. The “Lead Parent” group hosts monthly meetings in which one parent presents information and another parent interprets in Spanish. Solis also partners with New Mexico State University so that teachers-in-training can gain hands-on experience and provide individual support and enrichment to the students of Central. In her efforts to collaborate, Solis always has a positive effect on others. “All who engage with her feel respected and supported,” says Lydia Polanco, Director of Elementary Instruction. Solis was named “Bilingual Administrator of the Year” once by the district in 2007 and twice in 2008 by the NM Association of Bilingual Educations and the NM Coalition of School Administrators. She holds a B.A. in Foreign Languages and an M.A. in Education Administration from New Mexico State University.