Alfonso C. Lopez

Alfonso C. López

Lewis and Clark Elementary School
Wenatchee School District #246
Wenatchee, Washington

Alfonso C. López’s education career began in 1983 in his native Mexico, where he served as a teacher and principal for three years before moving to the U.S. López learned English through several years as an agricultural worker before returning to public education as a paraeducator while completing his degree. After teaching at Lewis and Clark Elementary (LACE) for nearly a decade, he has now served the school as principal for the last 12 years, where he has applied his unique, well-rounded experience toward transformative impact. While teaching, López began organizing with his colleagues to move LACE to a bilingual education model, a program that he has continued to implement and refine as principal. The program has greatly benefited the school’s diverse K-5 population—100 percent of whom participate in the Free and Reduced Price Meals program—by increasing family engagement, opening up future career opportunities, strengthening academic performance for English and Spanish speakers alike, and providing a foundation for other programs like PBIS and GLAD. López has supported the program through creative professional development opportunities, including an international teaching mission to Oaxaca, Mexico, which has allowed LACE teachers to witness techniques for teaching Spanish while increasing cultural understanding. López is regarded highly for his integrity, taking an authentically team-oriented approach to leadership while striving to cultivate personalized, culturally-relevant learning opportunities at LACE. He holds degrees from Washington State University and Heritage University.