Heather L. Anguiano
Hartford Sylvia Encinas Elementary School
Chandler Unified Schools #80
For Heather Anguiano, “relationships are at the center of everything.” Deeply committed to community, Anguiano has spent the past nine of her 16 years of principalship beating the odds as leader of Hartford Sylvia Encinas Elementary School (HSEES), which earned the 2017 A+ School of Excellence Award for the first time under her leadership. Anguiano’s data-driven approach to equity has made HSEES stand out in the district and the state for strong achievement in a high-poverty context; in 2011-2012, the school was one of very few to to move from “D” to “A” status in one year. Anguiano commits herself to closing the racial and economic achievement gaps through strong differentiated instruction and robust social support. Using a “whole child, whole family” approach, Anguiano led HSEES to be the first school in Chandler, Arizona, to guarantee free breakfast to all students. Noting poor representation of students of color and students from poverty in the district’s gifted program, Anguiano worked with district leaders and parents to launch a self-contained program that creates a streamlined, STEAM-focused path to college preparatory classes for high-achieving students in these demographic areas. She also fiercely advocates for resources that support inclusion and family wellness and prioritizes hiring staff that reflect the community, particularly Spanish-speakers. Anguiano holds two M.Ed. degrees in Leadership and Curriculum from Northern Arizona University and a B.A. in Elementary Education from Iowa State University.