Karina Moreno '01, M.A. '03

Inspiring her students with a supportive Catholic Education.

Karina Moreno '01, M.A. '03, Educator and Principal, Dolores Mission Elementary School

Karina Moreno sees her career as more than the work she has put into it; she also sees it as an answer to her prayer. As she was graduating with a bachelor's degree in psychology, the School of Education began Partners in Los Angeles Catholic Education. PLACE Corps gave Karina her opportunity to be of service to Catholic education. She credits that training to her being named, at 28 years old, the principal of Dolores Mission School in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.

On her first day, she posted a note on her desk that she has read every day since: "Keep your eye on the goal." That reminder guides Karina as she leads a school with many challenges, including finding funds for programs and nurturing a productive, supportive setting. She does that by paying special attention to the relationships she develops with students, parents, faculty and staff.

"It seems so simple: treat parents, and everyone, with dignity and respect. What we have created here is a safe and inclusive environment where we have high expectations for our students."

Karina says she has devised several strategies to get her students' attention. Among her favorite methods is to challenge them to "find the miracle every day."