MESA, Ariz. — It’s an incredible story coming full circle for one Valley woman.
Decades ago, an 8-year-old girl from Trinidad and Tobago moved to the U.S. with her family looking for an opportunity.
Today, that same little girl is now a Valley mom of two and taking on the role of principal at the same Mesa elementary school she attended back then.
“I am principal of Lowell Elementary School,” said Genisha Wright. “It’s full circle for me. It feels surreal and amazing.”
Wright and her family moved to Mesa when she was in fourth grade.
“It was definitely a culture shock, very hot in Arizona,” she said. “I was really shy. I was really introverted and what I remember the most were kind, caring teachers, that just treated me fairly and knew me by name.”
Her younger siblings and cousins also attended Lowell.
“As I walk the hallways, I still remember certain spots that I used to frequent.”
“It’s an immigrant success story,” said Rudolph Mills, Genisha Wright’s dad. “We want what’s best for our family. We want to make sure that we have opportunity.”
Genisha’s dad was so involved in the school when they moved here, even after all of his kids graduated from high school, he would still visit the school to see the staff.
“It’s so wonderful to see that the same staff that we met then, is pretty much still here,” he said.
Her dad instilled hard work and perseverance in Wright and her siblings, something he knows she’ll pass on.
“Genisha has the opportunity to help to shape many of the students from different backgrounds, different circumstances,” Mills said.
A couple favorite moments for Wright since becoming principal?
Being surprised with a visit from a retired teacher that taught her.
“I shrunk like a student myself," she said. “She looked the same, she sounded the same, the same caring teacher as before.”
And visiting with students just starting out.
“I am very thankful and humbled and blessed to be here at Lowell elementary,” Wright said.
Lowell turns 65 years old this school year, so Principal Wright and the school are planning on a big celebration and inviting back other Lowell alumni, including Mesa Public Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Andi Fourlis to visit with students.
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