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A ray of sunshine: Blanton Elementary principal says she has the best job in the world

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Tricia Badillo

Tricia Badillo

Tricia Badillo was recently selected to be principal of Blanton Elementary. Badillo has worked in education for the past 25 years including serving as an assistant principal with Coppell ISD at Denton Creek Elementary for four years and Lakeside Elementary for two years. Badillo earned her earned her masters in educational leadership from the University of Texas at Arlington and also completed her Doctorate in Education with Abilene Christian University.

Tell us a little bit about your family.

My husband and I have lived in the metroplex for over 17 years and have 7 children. Our oldest son is married and has blessed us with four grandsons. We have one daughter who is a senior at Abilene Christian University, and another daughter who is a sophomore at Oklahoma Christian University. Our other four children are in the 12th, ninth, eighth, and seventh grades in Coppell. My family is very important to me! Four boys and three girls is a lot of “extra,” but I wouldn’t change it for anything.

How does it feel to be selected as principal of Blanton?

Being selected as the principal of Blanton is a dream come true. To be part of a district and community of teachers and families who are so dedicated to ensuring the academic and social/emotional success of every Blanton Bulldog is an amazing experience. I look forward to every day at Blanton!

What do you hope to accomplish in your new role?

As the principal of Blanton, I plan to expand on the great academic achievements of our learners by focusing on what makes Blanton special: We are a STEM school full of readers and writers. As we learn though our integrated STEM experiences, we want to share our story through Twitter and Facebook (@blantonbulldogs) so we can grow our connections locally and globally. Blanton Bulldogs are dedicated learners and kind citizens, and each student will grow more than they ever imagined.

What inspired you to pursue a career in education?

I have gravitated to working with children ever since I was young. “Playing school” was a favorite at-home activity as I grew up, and I was blessed with many teachers who invested their time and energies into helping me be successful. As I went through college, my passion to ensure every child be successful grew. While I initially pursued other careers to help children, I recognized that as an educator, I could build strong relationships with students and their families and make the greatest impact on their future.

What do you love about your job?

I have the best job in the entire world! I have a building full of Blanton Bulldogs that I love and a staff that is incredibly dedicated to do whatever it takes! Every day I am able to find joy in what I do. How can I not be happy when I am around excited learners with smiles and hugs and open hearts? Helping others to be the best they can be is very rewarding. Plus, in elementary school, every day is a mysterious adventure! I am thankful I can show all my Blanton Bulldogs how much I love them every day! 

What makes it challenging?

Remember that “mysterious adventure” line that is one thing I love about my job? That can also make it very challenging at times! There is always a long list of things to do, classes to visit, deadlines to meet. Every day at Blanton is a new adventure, and no one day is the same as the day before. My biggest challenge is finding that “one thing” that helps a learner or an educator get better and be successful. Being a principal is a great job for me because I love to be challenged and learn.

What advice would you give anyone who wants to become a teacher?

Focus on your “why.” Why do you want to be a teacher? What’s your purpose? When you have your “why” solidified, you are more effective at helping learners succeed and you will be able to persevere when struggles arise.

Who was your inspiration growing up?

I was fortunate to have several very patient teachers who didn’t give up on my when I made mistakes and who taught me that every day is a reason to smile. Also, my school secretary, Mrs. Kepins, encouraged me by always calling me “sunshine” – even when I was not shining brightly. I learned to live up to the nickname and that simple term of endearment has stuck with me. There are no bad days at school. There are struggles; there are moments of failure – but every challenge and every celebration becomes a part of the overall journey towards continual growth and success. Being reminded that I was important enough to be given a positive nickname and shown grace when I didn’t deserve it inspires me to do the same for others daily.  

How do you show your school spirit?

I am proud to say our “Bulldog Pledge” every morning, wear my spirit shirt every Friday and Tweet out the amazing things happening at Blanton Elementary! Go Bulldogs!!!

What do you like to do in your free time?

 I enjoy spending time with my family and baking. I love to swim and read all kinds of books. I also like to plan creative “adventures” – whether it’s a day at a museum, a zoo, a nature park or a fun vacation!

 What's your favorite movie?

My latest favorite movie is “Instant Family”.

 If you were a crayon, what color would you be and why?

Yellow – because it’s a color that always brightens up the picture!

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