Principal Olga Romero is the founding principal of Dallas Hybrid Preparatory at Stephen J. Hay, the first hybrid elementary school in the state of Texas. This new school aims to transform traditional learning, combining in-person and virtual instruction to create a learning environment that promotes meaningful connections to the local and global community.
To help achieve this, Dr. Romero brings not only her considerable experience–she’s been in Dallas ISD for almost 10 years and is in her third year as a principal–but also her background and heritage as a proud Latina and a doctor in education.
“By connecting with our communities, I can build communication bridges, be more inclusive with our leadership and [build]supportive practices. Our communities feel listened to and included when you can connect with their needs,” she said. “When the students see that you look like them, speak like them and understand their cultural background, they feel like they belong, and it empowers their commitment to their educational future.”
Dr. Romero was born in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, a country known for its beautiful people, amazing food, outstanding music, but most importantly, its strong family connections. “We are proud of our heritage, and we display it anytime we can. Our abuelas [grandmothers]taught us the importance of familia, or family, and our values are rooted in community first,” the principal said.
In 2008, she moved from Puerto Rico to Dallas, where being bilingual and bicultural helped her connect with the Hispanic community and other cultures in the metroplex.
“The Spanish language is much more than speaking the same language. It’s about connecting with others on what makes us unique, diverse, yet so similar,” said Dr. Romero. “We share the joy of knowing that being bilingual and bicultural is indeed a privilege.”
Dr. Romero added that one of the most important features of being Hispanic in the United States today is that “it does not matter where you are from—El Salvador, Mexico, or Puerto Rico—our culture celebrates each of us like familia. We are proud of our heritage; we serve our community con orgullo [with pride]and know that our contributions to this great nation are significant.”