Principal Giovanna Claudio-Cotto’s face and laugh are familiar to students and faculty. She climbed the educational ranks at McKinley High School.
“I was able to transition from a teacher, Dean of students and Assistant Principal," said Claudio-Cotto.
Now she’s taken on a new challenge as Principal of Frederick Law Olmsted School. Her days now are filled with meetings and preparing for distance learning. The latest meeting involved parents of children attending the prestigious magnet school.
She says her philosophy on education embraces the idea that every child learns differently.
“I believe that all children deserve a quality education," added Claudio-Cotto.
There are nine newly appointed principals within the Buffalo Public School system this year including Principal Claudio-Cotto. She migrated from Puerto Rico with her family at 7 years old and is one of several principals of Latin descent in the district.
"As a Latina I believe that I went into education and I aspired to become a leader in education because I wanted to show Hispanics and Latinas that you didn't have to settle for the typical stereotype," she said. "That you could aspire to be a leader. That you could change perception on what Latinos could do in the community. Especially as a female I think it is something that I am very proud of. There are not many role models for our children and I hope that behind me come many more."
The BPS has always had Hispanic trailblazers.
Dr. Gabrielle Morquecho is currently the Principal of Hutchinson Central Technical High School. Carlos Alvarez is Principal of Lewis J. Bennett High School of Innovative Technology #363. Miguel Medina, formerly at School #38 @ 49, was just named the Principal of Herman Badillo Community School #76, once lead by Dr. David Caban. And Evelyn Pizzaro served as the principal of PS #3 D’Youville Porter Campus School.