Upon becoming principal of McKinley Elementary School in Yakima, Irene Gonzales began admitting special education students and non-English speaking students. "Today," says Ms. Gonzales, "we admit every student who walks through our doors, and I guarantee that all children will receive the services they need." Ms. Gonzales is also the founder of HAAP (Hispanic Academic Achievers Program), a district-wide program that provides a springboard for Hispanic students trying to ensure a better life through education. By providing positive role models, tutors, scholarships and college orientation and counseling, the program seeks to reinforce and reward educational achievement. In response to the increased enrollment of Spanish-speaking students, Ms. Gonzales recently implemented a bilingual classroom at every grade level.
1985 Washington State University, B.A.