‘Hard work conquers all:’ Blanton principal follows in family footsteps and empowers students

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Born and raised in Mexico, Annie Webb Blanton Elementary School Principal Alicia Iwasko followed in her mother’s and grandfather’s path and became a teacher.

In Mexico, she taught English as a Second Language from the elementary to college level. In 2008, she moved to Dallas to follow her passion of teaching bilingual classes in elementary school. She served as a fourth-grade math and science teacher at Ascher Silberstein Elementary School in Dallas ISD for six years before becoming a math instructional coach for three years.

“I believe in education because I know it is the best way to empower students with the determination to work hard for their goals and maximize their potential, regardless of their cultural background, socioeconomic status, or zip code,” Iwasko said.

In 2015, Iwasko was invited to be part of the first cohort of the Accelerating Campus Excellence initiative to help turnaround Annie Webb Blanton Elementary School. Along with fellow highly effective teachers and campus leadership, she helped propel Blanton from a low-performing campus to earning six out of six academic distinctions from the state for two years in a row.

In 2017, Iwasko was promoted to the role of assistant principal at Edward Titche Elementary, which was part of the second cohort of ACE. Titche improved from an “F” school to a “B” school in only one year, as measured by Dallas ISD and the state.

In 2018, as a fresh graduate from SMU with her second master’s degree in education, Iwasko was presented with the opportunity to return to Blanton, this time as principal, her current post.

“Every day I work to continue to live up to the school’s motto: ‘Labor Omnia Vincit,’ which translates to “Hard Work Conquers All,” Iwasko said. “Covid-19 means the start of this school year hasn’t looked like any other year, but thanks to our wonderful staff, students, community and support through the ACE program, we can still accomplish great things together.”

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