KENEDY – The local high school has a new principal, and she’s already making big waves as part of her five-year plan for the school.
Deborah Del Bosque took the job last month after serving 13 years as an assistant principal for Beeville ISD. She brings 29 years of education experience to the job, and she’s not shy about making changes at the school.
Del Bosque said she wants students to be focused on learning, which is why one of her first decisions was to eliminate potential classroom distractions.
“One of the first things I told them was no cell phones, no earbuds in class. I want you fully invested in what’s going on in the classroom,” she said. “Music’s great when you’re relaxing. But when you’re needing to learn, it’s important ... to be fully invested. We’re preparing them for the real world.”
But it’s not all about being tough on students.
“I made it a priority to get to know the parents, students and staff ... making sure they know that it’s important for me to develop a relationship with the kids,” she said. “They need to understand I care and that I’m not just coming in here and turning over the school.”
Del Bosque started off in Austin ISD as a band director at a middle school. Then she and her husband decided to move back home to Beeville after they had their firstborn.
While serving as a band director in Beeville, she went after her master’s degree and became a classroom fine arts teacher. She took the assistant principal job in 2005.
Coming from Beeville to Kenedy, Del Bosque has been observing the unique differences.
“Coming from a big school to a small school, you’d think it would be easy. But a small school has its own unique circumstances that make it different,” she said. “It’s a wonderful small school and I’m getting to use a lot of my background training, so I’m pretty comfortable.”
She wants to aim for having well-rounded students who are college- or career-ready by the time they graduate.
Part of that strategy will be beefing up the programs, services and opportunities for high school students.
“The programs here are solid, but we want to make them the best Kenedy can offer. That’s my goal,” she said. “I want students to see we’re invested in them and getting them ready for what’s out there in the world, whether it be career, college or military. We’re finding ways to improve what’s offered to students.”
She knows every school will always have some students who are struggling, and that’s why Del Bosque believes in teaching with student needs in mind.
“I believe in meeting students where they are. Students don’t always come to us with the skills they need. They come from different backgrounds and sometimes they transfer in. I want them to know, just come to school and we’ll get you where you need to be. Wherever they are in their skill level,” she said.
And that’s important for maintaining state standards. Del Bosque said she’s not content to ride on the “B” rating the state gave Kenedy ISD last year.
“They ended up with a B here and that’s wonderful, but a lot of great schools ended up with C’s. So we want to keep getting better,” she said.
That’s why she’s developing a five-year plan that will detail strategies the school will implement over time. Del Bosque also wants her staff and students to know she’s in it for the long haul.
“I’m not here for just a year. I want students to know I’m going to be invested in this school,” she said.
More changes she wants to focus on include hands-on programs and new educational ideas that get students up and moving around.
“Kids can’t sit down all day,” she said. “The more activity and blood circulating through their bodies, the better. They need those soft skills when they go out to get a job in the future: how to talk to people, how to problem solve.”