Esmeralda Chavira, a Ritchie principal intern at Skinner Middle School, died on Jan. 1 in a tragic accident in Mexico.
Chavira was born in Zacatecas, Mexico, and came to the United States with her parents when she was six years old. She lived in Chicago before moving to Denver with her family when she was a teenager. She graduated from Montbello High School, and received her bachelor's degree in business management from Metro State University.
After working in the business industry for four years, Chavira became a bilingual elementary teacher. She received her teaching license and master's degree from the University of Colorado at Denver and began teaching at Castro Elementary in 2009. At Castro, she taught fourth grade, then became the student advisor and administrative assistant.
"Esmeralda's perseverance and dedication to students was clearly evident in her support of students' academic and social emotional needs," said Cheri Wrench, DPS executive director and former Castro principal. "She was a gifted bilingual leader in DPS with great talent."
Chavira enjoyed traveling, reading and dancing. Most recently, she attended the University of Denver to receive her principal's license through the Ritchie program, and became a Ritchie principal intern at Skinner.
In a short time, she made a positive impact with students, teachers and families in the Southwest and Northwest Denver communities at Castro Elementary and at Skinner Middle School, respectively.
"She will be greatly missed by many, and the DPS community is a better place because Esmeralda was part of our family," Wrench said.
Chavira is survived by her parents, three younger brothers, her husband and young daughter.