The High Point Schools Partnership had the privilege of sitting down and talking with Sonia Marquez, principal of Oak Hill Elementary. Originally from the Durham school district, Marquez taught elementary and middle school ESL (English as a Second Language) before moving on to become an Assistant Principal in High School. She is no stranger to the public school system having experience from preschool to 12th grade.
A warrior for the bicultural and bilingual, Marquez is herself a first-generation Mexican American educator. This experience has led her to be personally motivated to make an impact on cultural acceptance in her community. Being only 1 of 3 Latinx leaders in the district she feels this role cannot be taken lightly and wants to serve as both a “mirror and window” to her students and families who have or have not, had a role model like her before. [To read more about the idea of cultural “mirrors and windows” that Marquez refers to, read here]
One of the goals of the High Point Schools Partnership is to highlight the wonderful things going on in High Point school and Marquez had no problem talking about Oak Hill in this way. Through our conversation, Marquez highlighted both their school garden and their food pantry. The food pantry, in particular, was a great success for her. At their schools’ food pantry, Oak Hill provides family food boxes. This food designated for the whole family is also culturally responsive so everyone has something to eat while maintaining the dignity of their individual culture. This food pantry will be housed in their “Parent Resource Center” in which families can come to use the computer, pick up school supplies and access their clothing closets. Marquez also pointed to 5th Grade science teacher, Yanique Jones, from Jamaica. This global teacher highlights multiculturalism and affirms the 9+ language spoken in the building at Oak Hill.
Thank you Sonia for sitting down and talking with us. We look forward to continuing to talk with and highlight different High Point principals and all the good going on at their school.