Pennington Elementary New Principal

Principal Embraces Hispanic Heritage While Building Community
Posted on 09/28/2023
Raquel González

Raquel González loves working every day with students and teachers – and the sense of mission that comes with all of it.

“I love the variety of hats my job entails,” says González, the new executive principal of Pennington Elementary School. “I enjoy working alongside teachers to improve daily practice for the success of all students. I look forward to making connections with students daily and doing my best to provide the best environment for them and creating partnerships with families and supporting them as much as I can. Raquel Gonzalez

“Overall, I love being a part of something great and important, which is educating our future.”

González joined MNPS this summer after 29 years with Chicago Public Schools, where she served as a teacher and science coordinator for 10 years and then spent 19 years as an assistant principal and principal. She focuses on building strong relationships with parents and community partners because she knows community support and investment are essential to raising independent thinkers who “have an opportunity to choose their success in today’s society.”

“Throughout my 19 years of leadership experience, my leadership philosophy has not changed,” she says. “I truly believe it takes a community to raise a child.”

González says her Hispanic heritage is important to her. It means “embracing and being proud of who I am because my family values and culture made me who I am today.”

“I was raised in a very traditional Hispanic home with strong cultural values. As a Puerto Rican Cuban American, I was raised to be respectful, generous, to serve and help others, and to work hard. The strong work ethic in our culture is generational value to support not only ourselves and our family but is a value that is passed on to ensure our children are more successful than we are.”

And for those who might be struggling with their identity in a collision of cultures, she offers this advice:

“Your culture is your gift in life. Embrace who you are. Use our cultural values of generosity, respect, perseverance, strong family values, and the willingness to help others to help you succeed in life. Last, it doesn't matter where you start in life. It is what you do with your life and how you help others that will measure your success. I am living proof of that.”

Away from work, González enjoys being outdoors and loves biking, hiking, kayaking and exploring.

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