First South Bend Latina principal talks about Hispanic Heritage Month

On Monday afternoon, Navarre Intermediate’s first Latina interim principal brought a motivational speaker for their 5th through 8th grade classes. Right now, this school is 60 percent Latino.

Cristina Campos, the first Latina principal in South Bend, helped get Roy Juarez to South Bend.

She says his story, one of victory in the face of overwhelming odds, is something everyone can relate to.

“They really do provide a very positive message and they can relate to the culture,” said Campos.

But, Campos too has a story of accomplishment.

She started off as the assistant principal at Navarre three years ago. Now she’s the interim leader.

“I can’t, I can’t state how much overjoyed at the opportunity to make an impact to make a difference to our large Hispanic population here at Navarre,” adds Campos.

She says students get excited when they hear she can speak two different languages, even the non-Spanish speakers. “It’s really important that they get the opportunity to see somebody that can speak two languages and provide that cultural background.”  

Campos says at this year’s assembly the message is an important one. “Every message that an USHLI speakers says is from the heart and it means so much.”

Campos tells ABC57 there’s certain connect with students and parents once they find out she’s bilingual.

“Now I’m instantly available to them, to meet all their needs, to be able to help them because again I was one of those students that came to school without knowing any English,” Campos said. "I understand the journey. Our students do need support and love and I’m willing to anything I can to make them successful.”

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