Principal Lara Recognized as A+ Administrator


Faculty and Staff celebrate Mr. Lara’s recent recognition as Administrator of the Year.

Josh Tully, Staff Writer

Our very own Mr. Lara was awarded the “Alt Ed Administrator of the Year Award” for ASCA Region 17. Not only that, he has also earned the county award for Continuation Educational Options Administrator of the Year. In his humble way, he said, “I am elated to represent Alt Ed and AUHSD. Additionally, I want to thank everyone for all the kindness and love you give to our community every day. Everyday I experience small acts of kindness that bring me hope for a better tomorrow.”
Here at Gilbert we are very fortunate to have such a strong, supportive principal to guide us and show us the way. We appreciate and congratulate Mr. Lara.
There will be an award ceremony on May 8th during which Mr. Lara will be recognized and honored. We heard he has to deliver a speech. and with all our Soapbox training this year, we are sure his speech will be amazing.
Kenia Rodriguez and I had the opportunity to sit down with Mr. Lara and enjoy a conversation about his recent recognition.
JT: Can you tell us your thoughts about this recognition?

Mr. Lara: I’m really excited about winning the awards. I’m really honored, but this award, which is really less about me and more about everything that we’ve been doing here at Gilbert, from the teachers to the classified staff to the students, it’s really about all the highlights and all the wonderful things that have happened here at Gilbert since I came here two years ago.

I also want to say that we’ve come back from a global pandemic. and to see us not just return to business as usual but to really advance things by taking the lessons that we learned from the pandemic and adapting to the new reality, has been part of our success here at Gilbert, and I’m really proud of that.

KR: So. the question is. do you feel that this award is well-deserved to be given to you?

Mr. Lara: I want to start off by saying that, no I think there’s a lot more people well more deserving than me to receive this award. I say that because there’s people who’re doing great work with students and staff and schools all the time that go unrecognized. I’m really humbled that I received this award because there are a lot of other people who deserve recognition, many more than I do; however, I will gladly accept this award because I am happy and very proud of the work that our students and staff have been doing here at Gilbert. I do want to say that this award is exciting because I get to name some of those great things that have been going on here at Gilbert!


Mr. Lara went on to specify the “great things” he is proud of here. He named many teachers and the programs at Gilbert like FNL, the food bank, the development of a sports program to include our basketball team and soccer team. He raved about the Slim Gym, and basically credited staff for stepping up to bring new programs that raise student voice and choice. He highlighted community partnerships and standout students and described his experience as Principal here as an “amazing journey” because, he said, “Here at Gilbert everybody cares and everybody belongs and we do that through lifting up student voice and choice and giving student purpose finding your purpose is a lifelong journey.”

Mr. Lara believes staff and teachers here care and want to help students to know their purpose while being here at Gilbert. He said some of that shows through our Democracy School projects, our Capstone showcase, and the many field trip opportunities that students have enjoyed this year alone. 

He said, “That’s the vision, that we have Unlimited You, and when students can dream it, we can make it happen.”