Anibal Soler is being honored as a Latino Educator Champion of Change.
I am honored and humbled to be recognized as a White House Champion of Change. This is an honor that I will never forget receiving, but an honor that I cannot accept alone. I am one individual amongst many caring educators at my school and in my community working hard to make a difference in the lives of our children. I’ve been taught that the ultimate thing that matters in our lives is what we have done for others rather than the material items we own—and that has continued to drive me during my career in education.
My educational journey began in 2000, as an art teacher in a high-needs urban middle school in Rochester, New York. Since then, I knew internally that I could take on a larger role in bettering my community. I was fortunate enough to have others see potential in me; just a few years later, I found myself in the role of school principal.
I stepped into East High School in 2009, and I was the fourth school principal in three years. The school was hurting, lost and looking for stable leadership. The school community wanted a leader that was committed to supporting teachers in their drive to improve student outcomes. I was fortunate to have been given that opportunity, and since that day I haven’t looked back. I look forward to future opportunities to develop a comprehensive “best-practice” urban high school with the best teachers, administrators, curriculum, facilities, and school supports available.
During our school’s morning announcements, we always announce, “We have the power to change the world…Now let’s get to work!” I hope that we can all take that message to heart.
Anibal Soler, Jr. is the Principal of East High School in Rochester, New York.