I am thrilled to introduce you to Doris Aguilar, our neighbor in Pinemont Plaza and Waltrip High School’s new Parent Engagement Representative.
Doris is married to Raul Aguilar and they have three daughters: Karla, 16, a junior at Waltrip; Katelynn, 11, and Kamila, 6, both of whom attend Katherine Smith Elementary. The family enjoys volunteering in their community and with their church family.
After getting to know Waltrip last school year during her daughter Karla’s sophomore year, Doris was interested in becoming more involved at the school. She applied for the Parent Engagement Representative position and was hired by Houston ISD.
The main focus of the Parent Engagement Representative is to act as a liaison between the parent-teacher association (PTA), parents, community and the school as well as providing a positive connection and line of communication, building stronger relationships with parents, community and business partners as well as providing parents with information and assistance when needed.
Doris sees herself as the middle man, funneling information where it needs to go, be it from PTA to school administrators, parents needing assistance or with the community so that community partners can join in the revitalization of Waltrip. She provides a conduit for success so that information going out to parents and community as well as information coming in the opposition direction, inquiries and needs of parents and community are funneled to the right parties. Finding answers, providing and directing people to the right resources and facilitating positive interaction is a full-time endeavor for Doris, and she is loving her new position.
Another of Doris’ duties is to oversee the Parents on Patrol, or “POP” program. Parents may sign up through VIPS and donate an hour or two and monitor the hallways. Several districts are applying POPs on their campuses. She is also developing a new campus newsletter, which will be full of information and contain news of upcoming events to be distributed on Fridays after school and in the pickup line.
Born in El Salvador, Doris moved to America when she was 5. Far from using her family’s early struggles as an excuse for anything less than success, Doris and her husband have worked hard to create and live their best life. She is in the unique position of understanding exactly what some of Waltrip’s students and parents have gone through, what some of their struggles may be today, and she is able to be a beacon of light and example of what America is all about. While she is absolutely, beautifully articulate in English, Doris’ ability to speak fluent Spanish is so very important in communicating with parents who do not speak English and she is connecting with Spanish-speaking parents in a way Waltrip has desperately needed for the last decade.
After a recent “Coffee With The Principal,” a new and monthly event occurring twice in one day to provide all parents a time slot that can work with their schedules in order to be more connected with the school and principal Michael Niggli, parents were asked what their top needs are. In order of importance, the parents responded: 1) CPR class, 2) ESL classes and 3) computer classes. Doris is working to make these classes a reality for any parents interested.
After raising children for 10 years, Doris re-entered the working world. She and her husband decided it was time for Doris to begin realizing her dreams and she is now a college student as well as a mother and Waltrip employee. She received her associate’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and is currently enrolled at the University of Houston’s Main Campus and is working toward a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Doris’ personal goal is to acquire her degree and pursue a career as a school counselor or wraparound specialist in HISD. For now, she is blooming where she is planted and hopes to stay and grow with Waltrip. Doris feels blessed and shared she feels she has been placed right where she is supposed to be. She looks forward to heading to the Waltrip campus each morning.
Doris shared, “My goal as the Parent Engagement Representative is to bring awareness to our parents and community of the wonderful resources and programs Waltrip has to offer. I want to help parents become more involved in their child’s education and learning in this digital era. In this disconnected world as a parent it is our priority to be vigilant and protect our children no matter their age. We have to be involved in knowing what courses and credits our children need to graduate high school and all the trade opportunities available to them now and in their college career.”
With a daughter at the school who loves having her mother on campus, Doris is uniquely positioned to understand where parents of high schoolers might have needs or questions. She is also actively reaching out to teachers, staff and administrators to create more pathways for communication and success.
Doris has enjoyed learning about Waltrip’s history, meeting alumni and parents and is very positive about the future of the school, which as it turns out, was her “dream school” when she was a teenager. Originally zoned to Heights High School, Doris attended Northbrook in Spring Branch ISD after her family moved, but had always dreamed of attending Waltrip. Now she has the opportunity to make a difference in her dream school on a daily basis!
If you would like to reach out to Doris for information about Waltrip, including all the exciting things in place and those coming, you can find her in her office in the Parent Engagement Center or email her at email@example.com.
Mark your calendar!
The Shepherd Forest Civic Club invites you to participate in its City Council Candidates Forum for candidates who are running in District A and District C at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16 in the cafeteria at Waltrip High School, 1900 W. 34th St. After brief opening statements, candidates will be available to meet individually and answer questions from those attending the forum. Don’t miss this chance to visit up close and personal with your favorite candidates!