New Robert M. Bracker principal
Joanne Vigilant named Robert M. Bracker principal
Posted on 08/01/2019
Joanne Vigilant

The Nogales Unified School District governing board approved the hiring of Joanne Vigilant as principal for Robert M. Bracker Elementary School on July 29, 2019.

Vigilant replaces Tim Colgate who was appointed principal at Nogales High School in May.  She formerly was the principal at Pima Rose Academy in Tucson for seven years and has extensive experience prior to that position teaching middle school science and math and as a director of counseling. In total Vigilant has 8 years of administrative experience and nine years teaching experience.

After obtaining a Bachelor of Arts from Prescott College, Vigilant earned a Masters of Arts from Prescott in psychology and a Masters of Arts in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University.

Supt. Fernando Parra said Vigilant “is a strong leader who is passionate” and added that she brings a wealth of experience with her at various grade levels and with all ability levels. He added that the committee, which included District personnel and Bracker teachers, classified workers, and parents, was supportive of hiring Vigilant from a pool of two internal and four external candidates.

“I have a personal passion for education,” Vigilant said in her application. “As a first-generation U.S. citizen of West Indian descent, I was, in many ways, an alternative learner. I grew to understand the incredible opportunity the public school system afforded. I saw it as a way to better my life, and I seized the opportunity. Therefore, I bring to the table not only paper qualifications but also an underlying gratitude, understanding, and a passion for the underdog.”

During the governing board meeting, parents and staff on the committee expressed that it was her passion and clear dedication to working at Bracker that made her the top contender.

When asked to explain her philosophy of academic achievement and philosophy of equity, Vigilant stated that she believes in differentiating instruction and to helping students reach their goals, whatever those goals are for each individual.

“I believe in the Athenian Oath which means to leave things better than what they were found,” she added.