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 Ragnar Rowland
My name is Ragnar Rowland, and I am excited and so proud to serve the Travis Heights Elementary community as your assistant principal. I want to share my story and path that has brought me to serve in this community and in this capacity. I was born in Mexico City where I was raised and lived until the age of 10. I then moved to Austin where I attended Linder Elementary, Joslin Elementary, Porter Middle School and graduated from Crockett High School. I am a proud graduate of Austin ISD and so glad and honored that I get to serve in the district that prepared me for my educational journey.
I attended Texas Lutheran University in Seguin, Texas where I received my bachelor of arts in Theology and a minor in History and Spanish. I went to do some graduate studies in Ohio where I met my wife of 23 years. We are parents to two children, our son and daughter and have a dog who is a mix of a dachshund and a jack russell terrier. Our son works for Samsung and our daughter currently attends Austin Community College where she is studying Theater. I returned to Austin in 2001 where I began subbing and felt called to serve in education. After getting certified through an alternative certification program, I began teaching in 2007. I have taught all grades from Pre-K 4 through 5th grade and have worked as a content interventionist and coach for the past three years.
I graduated from Concordia University with my masters in education administration and received that along with my principal certification in 2013. I have also gone through Austin ISD’s leadership pathway in Transformative Technology and have seen the benefits of BLENDed learning and personalizing our students’ learning experience. I am starting my 16th year with Austin ISD and my first year as an assistant principal.
I feel passionate about starting our young people in their path of learning and discovery that will open many doors of opportunity for them in the future and as we foster the desire of continual learning. My “why” for becoming an educational leader and administrator is to equip other educators with what they need to have a greater impact on our students who we serve. Doing this takes everyone who is a stakeholder in the lives of our students, and I am excited to be a part of that journey and endeavor. I am looking forward to a fantastic year serving and working with the Thunderbirds.