Trish Valentin was nominated by her colleague, Josh Topp.
Meet Mrs. Valentin: principal, district leader, educator, and most importantly, LifeChanger! She is the leader of H.L. Suverkrup Elementary School, which is a “Kids at Hope” school. She is also a treasure hunter.
“Every child is capable of success. No exceptions.”
This is the Kids at Hope mantra. It's a belief that Mrs. Valentin holds with every fiber of her being, and a belief she has passionately shared and passed onto her staff of treasure hunters. Mrs. Valentin believes that every child has a treasure in them, and as an adult treasure hunter, it's her duty to find the treasure in each child.
Many of Mrs. Valentin’s teachers appreciate her joyful attitude.
“Mrs. Valentin is one of those few, genuine leaders who truly and sincerely wants all those around her to succeed," said Lisa Love, a staff member. "She has no need for personal recognition. Her joy is seeing others find joy. Because of this unique trait, I have been able to grow and discover and rise to new personal heights that I might not have been able to reach without her. Mrs. Valentin’s willingness to listen to my many crazy ideas has helped me to not worry about what others think while I’m reaching for the stars.”
As principal of H. L. Suverkrup Elementary for six years, Mrs. Valentin has proven herself to be a strong leader in both her school and district.
“Mrs. Valentin prioritizes the nurturing of students and their education," said Laurie Doering, district superintendent. "The need to accept, protect and respect all students is paramount to her and the central focal point in her decision making. In addition, she nurtures and respects her staff while setting high expectations for all. She loves her job, and it shows!”
Although she stays incredibly busy with her day-to-day principal tasks, she is always looking to advocate for her students and staff by seeking out additional resources that can positively impact the students at her school. As a “Kids at Hope” educator, Mrs. Valentin also wants to make sure families can be involved in contributing to their child’s success, and her school hosts month family nights to increase parent & community involvement.
“I love that my son’s principal is a real person. She shares her life, family, and hobbies, and she is open, warm, compassionate, and caring" said an anonymous PTO leader. "I always feel like the best interests of my son, the students and staff are being taken into account when she is making decisions. She really wants to know about each and every one of us. To be honest, she is one of the first people that made us feel so at home in Yuma.”
"If you were to walk around our school and follow Mrs. Valentin’s steps, you would stop in your tracks a lot, as I’ve never seen someone get so many hugs from her students," said Topp. "She makes sure to visit our classrooms and ask how our day is going and if we need anything. She often hangs out in the cafeteria and playground to help with lunch and playground duty and be where the kids are. Mrs. Valentin is a very hands-on principal, and it’s very much appreciated. She’s a LifeChanger for so many of us."