Meet Master Principal Gerardo Hernandez

Gerardo Hernandez, principal at Thomas J. Rusk Middle School, was born and raised in East Dallas. He attended school in Dallas ISD, moving from Mount Auburn Elementary School to J.L. Long Middle School and graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School. 

As a proud product of Dallas ISD, he said he wanted to give back to his community, so after college he began teaching at Oran M. Roberts Elementary School for seven years as a fifth-grade science/social studies teacher before continuing on as a school administrator. 

He has since dedicated 16 years to education, with seven total years as a teacher in Dallas ISD and seven years as an administrator in the district. 

Hernandez’s passion for student success has been at the heart of his career, and he said he is grateful to have received the Master Principal designation for the 2022-2023 school year and to be among the top 10 percent of Dallas ISD principals in three categories: neighborhood elementary schools, neighborhood secondary schools, and choice schools. Learn more about his educational philosophy below. 

What drew you to education? 

A proud product of Dallas ISD, I wanted to give back to our communities what was once given to me: a great education. Providing students with a great education and additional opportunities to grow as individual leaders is still the driving force for me today. 

What qualities make a great principal? 

Great principals have a clear vision and mission, are active listeners, are supportive, develop leaders, collaborate without hesitation, are continuous learners, and more.

What is your educational philosophy or a motto by which you work? 

Student success is the only option. 

What inspires you about your position? 

I am inspired by the teachers’ and students’ growth, development, and endurance as learners. I began this journey as an educator because of a teacher who inspired me as a student to push myself as a learner. I want to be that for someone else. I hope I have inspired others to do the same for themselves. 

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