Austin ISD Welcomes Four New Elementary School Principals

The AISD Board of Trustees has approved new principal appointments for four campuses at its June 22 Regular Voting Meeting. Harris, Oak Springs, Padrón and Pickle elementary schools will all welcome new campus leaders. 

Harris Elementary School
The board appointed Zoila Cardenas to serve as the principal of Harris Elementary School.

Cardenas most recently served as the assistant principal at Wooten Elementary School, and prior to that, five years at Pecan Springs Elementary School. She has 16 years of education experience.

"It is an honor to be selected as the new principal for Thomas G. Harris Elementary," Cardenas said. "I'm excited and look forward to this amazing opportunity where my passion can help to inspire teaching and learning endeavors, and also enhance relationships, campus culture and innovation for all-students, teachers, parents, and community. I am confident that together we will further enhance a learning community where everyone is empowered for excellence."
Cardenas has a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies from Texas State University, a master's degree in Spanish language and culture from the University of Salamanca in Spain and a master's in education administration from Lamar University.

Oak Springs Elementary School
Cynthia Jackson will be leading Oak Springs Elementary School as its new principal. 

Jackson has served in various campus administrative roles in AISD since 2008 and has 21 years of experience as an educator.

"It is an honor and privilege to serve as the principal of Oak Springs Elementary," Jackson said. "Together with the families, staff, and neighborhood partners, we will thrive as a school community. I am energized and committed to building relationships, supporting the whole child, and igniting a passion for learning that will last a lifetime."
Jackson has a bachelor's degree from Huston-Tillotson University, a master's degree in theology from the Austin Graduate School of Theology and a master's in education administration from Concordia University.
Padrón Elementary School
Graciela Esquivel will serve as the new principal of Padrón Elementary School.

Esquivel most recently served as a compliance coordinator with the AISD multilingual education team, a position she has held since 2018. She previously worked as a bilingual teacher for 14 years and as assistant principal for eight years within the district. She has 24 years of experience in education. 
"I am excited and honored to serve as principal of Padrón Elementary School," Esquivel said. "It is my goal that all students receive a high quality and equitable educational experience. I look forward to working collaboratively with staff members, parents, and the community toward common goals; our students' academic success and their social and emotional well being."
Esquivel has a bachelor of business administration degree in finance from The University of Texas at Austin and a master of science degree in educational leadership from Texas A&M International University.
Pickle Elementary School
The board appointed Rosa Waters to serve as principal of Pickle Elementary School. 

Waters most recently served as assistant principal of Covington Middle School Fine Arts Academy, a position she has held since 2014. She has been with AISD since 2011 and served as an educator for 25 years. She previously worked as a middle school and elementary bilingual teacher, as well as a language arts specialist.  

"I am honored to serve as the new Principal of J.J. Pickle Elementary," Waters said. "I look forward to getting to know all the students, families, and staff as we collectively continue the work which fosters student success. I am thrilled to join such an amazing community and do so with great respect and gratitude."

Waters has a bachelor's degree in applied linguistics from Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León in Mexico and a master's degree in education from Texas Tech University.