Principal Joaquin Hernandez retires after 25 years

Thursday, July 5, 2018 0 Comments

Principal Joaquin Hernandez retires after 25 years


Surrounded by years of awards and photos with family and students, principal Joaquin Hernandez sits in his office awaiting retirement. After two decades of being part of the public school system, he is now ready to take a break and enjoy the rest of what life has to offer outside of classrooms and busy hallways. 

Before becoming principal of Barbara Goleman Senior High School (BGSHS) in 2011, Hernandez was principal at Miami Lakes Middle School since 2005. He was also assistant principal at BGSHS in 1995 and Braddock in 1994. For 25 years, Hernandez has been part of educating the students of Miami Lakes. In fact, everywhere he goes, Hernandez is constantly reminded of the affect he’s had on student’s lives. 

“There are very few places that I travel to here in the United States that I would not be able to meet at least one alumni or a parent of alumni,” Hernandez said. “Some years ago, I was at a regional airport in Alabama, and there was a girl taking tickets at the door, and she said ‘Mr. Hernandez! How are you?’ it’s just an example of how blessed I’ve been.”

Hernandez believes that his impact has not only been within the campus walls, but out in the community as well. In fact, for his last graduating class as principal, students earned up to 62,000 hours of community service as a group. 

“Ive learned to be thankful and cognizant of other peoples needs, and to do everything you can possibly do to achieve what others think is impossible to achieve,” Hernandez explained. “And in the process, help others in your community. I believe the greatest gift an individual can have is humility and an open spirit to help those in need.”

His influence did not go unnoticed by town residents as well. When invited to Town Hall to meet with Mayor Manny Cid, he was surprised to hear the school’s band playing outside in the distance. When he turned around, Hernandez was greeted by students and alumni alike, all shaking his hand and thanking him for guiding students at BGSHS.

“That was the biggest surprise of my life. We had students there, we had parents there, we had the town there. My wife was part of the deception, because she knew all along!” Hernandez laughed. “It was the biggest surprise. It was amazing. The mayor gave me a proclamation and a plaque, and I had a beautiful evening. It was quite impacting.”

After 14 years of being a teacher and 12 as a principal, Hernandez always had two remaining constants. In fact, the ideals were so definite, they were written on post-its on his desktop. One sticky note read ‘Darwin’ to remind him to continue adapting and learning new ways when it came to leading BGSHS, and the other was marked ‘Thankful.’ 

“I am so very proud of you,” Hernandez remarked to the collective of BGSHS. “I’m so proud of all the folks that have come through our hallways, and the things they accomplish and the things they are going to accomplish. It has been truly a humbling experience to have been given the opportunity to be at this school.”

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