This Is Home: Meet the principal who taught her AP in third grade

Principal Monica Marquez has spent the majority of her career at Louise W. Kahn Elementary School, as a teacher when it opened and then working to become an academic coordinator, assistant principal, and now principal of her home campus. 

It was during her time as a third-grade teacher that she first met student Selene Ramos—who is now assistant principal at Kahn Elementary. 

“Selene was very talkative and always came dressed to the nines,” Marquez said. “She was a good student who was always a go-getter wanting to help others, and that really has not changed in the 20 years we’ve known each other.”

Ramos recalled similar memories with a smile: “Sometimes I would get in trouble because I would want to help the other students too much. It’s always been in me to help others. I grew up in this neighborhood in Oak Cliff. As an immigrant child, I always wanted to give back to the community and to Dallas ISD, which built me.”

The two of them kept in touch over the years as Ramos was growing up. Her siblings attended Kahn as well, so Ramos would visit to catch up with Marquez, who Ramos said was “always happy to hear about my journey.” 

As an undergraduate student at the University of North Texas, Ramos was placed at Kahn to complete her teaching internship at her request, and then she transitioned into being a teacher on the campus. 

“I’ve been here for nine years,” Ramos said. “This is all I know. This is my home.”

Marquez said it has been a joy to support Ramos first as a student and then as a teacher and now as her assistant principal. 

“I’m always proud when I see my students come back,” Marquez said. “That’s what you want to do is make a difference in somebody’s life through education. My proudest moment with Selene was when she told me, ‘I’m going to get my master’s to become an administrator.’ It was really exciting for me to help her grow. And then when I had the opportunity to hire her as an administrator, I knew that was where she needed to be—here by my side to help.”

Calling Kahn home is something Ramos treasures, and she attributes much of that to Marquez.  

“She has made such an impact in my educational journey,” Ramos said. “She is that teacher who always sees your potential and continues to push you forward. She has seen me. She’s seen my potential since I was a third-grade student, a college intern, and a teacher, and it just continues. It’s been a true blessing.”

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