Monday, March 28, 2022

Joe Fierro: from Superintendent to Principal for a Day

Joe Fierro is a superintendent every day but recently had the unique privilege to be principal for a day.

The “Day as a Principal” program is an opportunity to get people from the different aspects of the community involved in education and to see firsthand what it looks like for the administrator to serve his or her campus.

EMJ is currently performing life cycle improvements for four elementary schools in Ysleta ISD: Presa, East Point, Edgemere, and Eastwood Heights. Joe is the superintendent overseeing operations at Eastwood Heights ES and is used to working with Mr. Mendoza, the principal, on a daily basis, keeping him updated on project progress and getting input on any changes that may arise. While Joe already had a pretty good idea of what Mr. Mendoza’s days looked like, it was especially fun for him to step out of the construction zone and into some classrooms for the day.

However, as any superintendent knows, you are never truly off the clock. Joe experienced just that when he realized upon arrival to the campus that there was a leak inside one of the classrooms. So before getting to “walk in Mr. Mendoza’s shoes” he had to spend a little bit of time walking (and working) in his own.

Once Joe officially began serving as principal for the day, he and Mr. Mendoza had the opportunity to visit a few classrooms. Some fourth graders had the opportunity to participate in a Q&A session with Joe, which turned out to be one of his favorite parts of the day. He got to share about his path to becoming a superintendent and the work he’s doing at their school.

The moment that stuck out most to him though, was when the students wanted to know why so much water had accumulated even though there had only been a little rain. Joe then began to explain how big the area of the roof was and how all the water from the large surface area began to flow toward the same point. Before Joe could ask if they were familiar with area, one kid chimed in and said they were currently learning about it—and then proceeded to give him the formula for area too.

“I love being a superintendent. There’s always something new to learn on the job—you learn the why and you get ahead of it. So it was fun to give the students real world application to what they were currently learning and tie it into what I do too,” said Joe Fierro, Level II Superintendent at EMJ.

Joe’s time with Mr. Mendoza ended with a luncheon celebrating all of the “Day as a Principal” participants, which included doctors, engineers, faculty from local universities, and business owners from the community.

At EMJ, our purpose is to be people serving people. We believe real leadership is found through serving others. We are proud of Joe for serving Eastwood Heights each day through his work as a superintendent, and, most recently, through the unique opportunity to be principal for a day—showing students real-life application to what they are learning.

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