Principal Michelle Amezquita-Navarro
My name is Michelle Amezquita-Navarro. It is an honor and privilege to be your principal at Travis Heights. I would like to share my story and give you some insight into who I am and the path that has led me to Travis Heights Elementary. I have lived in Austin all my life and attended AISD schools for my entire educational experience. I am literally “Home Grown.”
My childhood dream was to graduate from the University of Texas, and this became reality when I received my bachelor’s. I later attended Concordia University to obtain my Master’s of Education and my Principal Certification. I have had the wonderful opportunity to work in AISD for the past 21 years. I feel that my AISD urban educational experience has helped to develop my drive and love for learning.
I hold three core values that are near and dear to my heart: family, culture, and education. My family is my biggest support system. I have been married for 16 years to my high school sweetheart. Although he attended Texas A&M, I guess it is true when they say you can’t help who you fall in love with. I am a proud parent of an AISD student who attends fifth grade and is quite spirited and strong-willed child. I understand the family is what connects us to one another. Celebrating and understanding who you are and where you come from is powerful. Celebrating our student’s culture is important and plays a role in their success in life and in school. Education, I believe, is catalyst for change in a person’s life. I was the first one in my family to attend and graduate from college. Since then many doors have opened up for me. I am extremely humbled and grateful for all of the opportunities I have been offered. I truly believe it takes a village to raise a child. Every individual here at Travis Heights from the office staff, the cafeteria staff, the faculty, and the custodial staff understand their crucial part and responsibility to our students within our Travis Heights Family.
When our Thunderbirds move forward in the next chapter of life’s journey, they will be ready to Lead, Serve, and Learn! They will possess the necessary skills for collaboration, communication, connection, creativity, critical thinking, and cultural proficiency. As a community we will ensure that our Thunderbirds are college ready, and have the mindset and grit to move forward when they face obstacles. Thank you again for this the opportunity to serve this amazing community.
Assistant Principal Samantha Barrett
My name is Samantha Almanza Barrett, and I am so proud to be joining the Travis Heights Elementary family as an Assistant Principal. I was born and raised in Laredo, Texas along the Texas/Mexico border and have lived in Austin since 2010.
I attended the University of Texas at Arlington for my undergraduate degree in International Business with a minor in Spanish and Texas A&M International University for my graduate degree in Educational Administration.
I am starting my 16th year in education and my third year as an assistant principal. As a classroom teacher, I taught 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade serving emergent bilingual students. My teaching experience also includes teaching dual language summer school for students transitioning from kinder to first grade, 5th grade summer school, science camp for rising 5th graders, and teaching after school art classes for elementary students in Peru.
I am passionate about public education and am committed to creating culturally responsive, inclusive spaces where all students achieve academic excellence. I am looking forward to working with and supporting teachers, students, and their families to continue to develop and grow our young Thunderbirds.
My husband and I are the proud parents of a 3-year-old girl, a 5-year-old boy, a Boston terrier, and a black Labrador. As a family we enjoy gardening, reading, camping, hiking, playing at parks, and visiting family in Laredo and in Idaho.