Dan D. Rogers Elementary Principal Lisa Lovato receives the Superintendent’s Award from former Dallas ISD Superintendent Denise Marks-Arias in 2015.

Since Dan D. Rogers Elementary re-launched as a personalized learning campus, Principal Lisa Lovato has made a name for herself, catching the attention of neighborhood families who have shown increased interest in the school.

The elementary school recently received all possible distinctions from the Texas Education Agency, which uses students’ STAAR exam results to rate public schools. Rogers also was the first Dallas ISD campus to implement a social-emotional learning program schoolwide, and it received media attention this year when its cafeteria stayed open during Thanksgiving break.

With so much attention the past year, it doesn’t come as a shock that Lovato is nominated for Dallas ISD’s 2016 Principal of the Year award, given to one leader from the district’s elementary, secondary and magnet schools, respectively.

Lovato is one of three elementary school principals who were nominated.

“Words cannot express how much of an impact Mrs. Lovato has made at Dan D. Rodgers,” writes Sharmaine Hopkins, a parent of a fifth-grader, in Lovato’s application for the award. “My son has went to the school since kindergarten. I have followed the progress each year of my child and the school. I’m proud to be a part of the phenomenal job Mrs. Lovato has done with the education and staff. This will be my son’s last year at the school, and I wish I could clone her, so she could follow us to our next journey.”

Teacher Sudhir Vasal echoed Hopkins, saying “I cannot emphasize enough Ms. Lovato’s great leadership qualities. Her open-door policy, candid feedback, high expectations, and interest in developing teachers has changed a place where we would go just to work to a place where we want to actively contribute to a student’s wholesome development through teamwork and risk-taking. She is one-of-a-kind principal whose charisma for students is followed by actions to improve their lives. And the best reflection are the students that don’t want to leave school for the weekends and holidays, because they have fun and gain so much being at school.”

Winners will be announced Friday morning during a Principal of the Year celebration at the Dallas Market Center.

Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.