We asked new Robert F. Kennedy High School Principal Dolores Rodriquez what she is looking forward to in her new position and to reflect on her time as a longtime Delano Joint Union High School District employee.
Q: What are the goals you have set for yourself as incoming principal at Robert F Kennedy High School?
A: As a new principal, my goal is to lead my Kennedy family to the best of my ability. I don't see obstacles. Every challenge is an opportunity to learn from and grow. It has always been important for myself to not dwell on what I cannot control.
Q: What skill have you developed to help you overcome or achieve that goal?
A: I choose to see the bright side in every situation. This is not necessarily a skill but a mindset.
Q: What is your educational background?
A: I earned a bachelor of science degree in business management through the University of Phoenix while serving as a full-time principal's secretary at Delano High School and then later at Cesar E. Chávez High School. I earned my subject-matter competency in business education through Fresno State. I also earned a master of science degree in curriculum and instruction. I hold clear single-subject credentials in business education and English and have a clear administrative credential.
Q: What other district jobs have you held?
A: Once I earned my bachelors, I became a business education teacher and student activities director at Delano High School. I served the Delano Tigers for four years until I transitioned to Cesar E. Chávez High School serving in the same position.
While at Cesar E. Chávez High School, Mr. DeLeon provided me the opportunity to learn and grow as the ELD resource teacher and still serve as student activities director. I did this for one year, quickly transitioning as the assistant principal of student services, overseeing athletics and student activities at CCHS.
After 2 1⁄2 years, I then transitioned as our region 14 director of migrant education. I served in this position for 3 1⁄2 years before being presented with this amazing opportunity. I have been blessed to work for such a supportive district.
Q: What is your favorite part of your new job so far?
A: It is important that I share that I have loved every job I've held in the Delano Joint Union High School District. I've learned many aspects of the job because of the varied responsibilities.
Q: Is this the highest position you’ve held at the Delano Joint Union High School? If not, what has been?
A: Serving as principal is the highest title I've held. I value all of my job titles, because each has played an important role in where I am today. I am a firm believer that we are not successful by merely the work we do as individuals, but more so because of what we do together. I have been successful because I continue to be surrounded by hardworking, supportive people.
Q: What happens when someone tells you something is impossible?
A: I have been told that I would not be successful, that I would become a negative statistic. As a young mother and married at the age of 16, most thought my hopes and dreams would be lost to answer the question, "What happens when someone tells me something is impossible?" I think of my children and all of the obstacles we overcame together. I think of my parents and the sacrifices they made in search for a better life in the United States. I think of how hard I've worked to just be here. I have everything to be thankful for.
Q: Do you ever look back at your life and wonder how you got here?
A: I often look back and wonder how in the world did I make it this far! I am a strong believer that God had a hand in who I am today. Every new day that I get to spend doing what I love — to serve others — is through the grace of God, and I don't plan on wasting one second of His Blessing.
Q: Share with us a story about one of your students succeeding and how it felt for you to have a part in it.
A: I don't have just one story of the pride one feels to see a former student living their best life. It's one of the most amazing feelings to see our students fulfill their dreams and be happy with who they are. That is what matters.
Q: What do you do outside your job for fun or to relieve stress?
A: When things get hectic, my grandbabies bring me peace and joy. My husband, Marke, and I have seven amazing little people with number eight on the way. The job titles Apa and Yaya are the greatest in the world. Life doesn't get any better than this.
Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
A: A final note, I am grateful for this great opportunity. The Kennedy High School community has been supportive of me. We have amazing parents and students. The staff are some of the hardest working people I know. We all share a common goal: to provide all of our students with every opportunity to become independent, productive members of our society. They are our future. Our futures depend on theirs.