The Association of Washington School Principals and the Elementary School Principals Association of Washington recognized Alfonso López Principal at Lewis and Clark Elementary, as the 2019 Washington State Elementary Principal of the year. This prestigious award celebrates individuals who set high standards for instruction, student achievement, and community involvement as well as individuals who advocate for education and the principalship.
López was born and raised in México and immigrated to the United States to instill the value of education to his family. Over the past decade, López's goal has been to make a difference in his students' lives regardless of their cultural background. López sees diversity issues as opportunities to grow. Instead of avoiding cultural diversity issues, he is proactive and seeks school improvement. He takes the opportunity to discuss difficult situations, listen to multiple perspectives, and develop next action steps. Described by award nominators as an “agent of continuous improvement”, López seeks to promote each student's academic success and well-being while advancing the dual language school.
López’s career at Lewis & Clark took him from paraprofessional to principal. His leadership has been instrumental in the success of the dual language program at Lewis & Clark. “All of my staff work so hard, that I feel like I don’t deserve this. I want to share this accomplishment with all of you,” Lopez explained during a surprise all-school assembly where he was presented with the award by AWSP.
López’s credits his career success to having mentors and a solid support system of colleagues and family encouraging him on his journey as an educator. “People like Superintendent Flones, Connie Strawn and of course my wife have been behind me on this journey,” he said.
“I’m humbled to receive this award. For the years I have left in education I'll go at it with all my heart.... We still have a lot left to accomplish– So if not now, when? If not us, who? We have to do this together.”
López will represent Lewis and Clark Elementary, the Wenatchee School District and principals across the state at the Washington State Principal of Year. He will also travel to Washington D.C. for an awards reception.