Principal Spotlight: Veronica Hernandez, Arroyo Seco Academy
(Greenfield Union School District)
Veronica Hernandez is the principal at Arroyo Seco Academy in the Greenfield Union School District. The TK-6th grade elementary school has 630 students. Principal Hernandez has been the principal of the Polar Bears for five years and in the district for 25 years. She started as a classroom teacher then served as a Title 7 coordinator at the middle school, a district English language development instructional coach and an assistant principal before assuming the Arroyo Seco Academy principalship. She has two master’s degrees and is in the second year of completing her doctorate. Principal Hernandez is a strategic thinker, empathetic, and knowledgeable about her community and the students at Arroyo Seco. Her and the school’s vision promotes high levels of involvement and academic learning. She works alongside her assistant principal Martha Andrade as part of a positive and powerful instructional team.
Principal Hernandez enthusiastically highlighted the following three very special Arroyo Seco Academy school-wide programs: Brighter Bites is a community-based program that focuses on nutrition. ASA is a certified Blue Zones school, which means the school community promotes and lives a healthy lifestyle. The school community is encouraged to drink water, eat nutritious food, exercise, and garden. Principal Hernandez proudly points to a fast-growing hydroponic garden which is the only one in Greenfield schools. The second program is Arroyo Seco Academy’s after-school program, which is supported by support staff directly. The staff offers classes for students and is focused on academics, socio-emotional wellness, and STEM for 100 students. Keeping students in school is very important to the Arroyo Seco staff. Principal Hernandez personally contacts and meets with parents and students to provide information on chronic absenteeism and truancy. Families who improve their attendance are recognized during Parent Cafes. The focus on attendance has resulted in decreasing the absentee rate from 11 percent to 4 percent. Principal Hernandez emphasizes, “Arroyo Seco Academy focuses daily on our students, school community, and families through our shared vision of success for ALL students
and we welcome all to visit.”