Margarita Tovar was back at Dogan within two weeks to help students and their families recover and even deal with immigration issues at times.
HOUSTON — Dogan Elementary in Houston’s Fifth Ward has yet to welcome back to students to campus. But that doesn’t mean they’re not fully engaged.
“I can proudly say all of our scholars have technology at home, and they’re being able to enjoy and learn virtually, safely,” said principal Margarita Tovar.
Tovar and her team recruited partners like Payless to supplement what HISD provided.
And now all of the school’s more than 600 students have learning devices and WiFi hotspots.
Making sure kids are connected also means going door-to-door, on occasion, in order to pay personal visits.
“Nothing can prepare you for a crisis like this,” Tovar said. “It’s been extremely challenging.”
But it’s not the first time Tovar has tackled tough times. Her husband, Jorge, died during Hurricane Harvey while trying to save their horses. He suffered an allergic reaction due to bites from a floating colony of fire ants.
“And unfortunately, he wasn’t able to make it,” Tovar said.
She was back at Dogan within two weeks to help students and their families recover and even deal with immigration issues at times.
Tovar then helped turn around the previously failing school that was once at risk of closure.
“I just used, you know, all of my strength,” Tovar said. “And I know my husband would be proud of me, and he would not have wanted me to dwell and to stop.”
Celebrating the school and its diversity inspired a mural dedicated over the summer at a nearby bus stop.
“And it just represents the culture of this school,” said one teacher in a district-produced video.
It’s a school from which many others might be able to learn something.
“We do have some challenges that obviously come with being located in an area such as ours,” Tovar said. “However, we’re rich in many other ways.”