Palmdale School District Superintendent Raul Maldonado was one of four community leaders honored by Senator Scott Wilk recently to commemorate National Hispanic Heritage Month, a month-long celebration from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15.
Wilk recognized the recipients for their vision, leadership, and significant contributions to California’s Senate District 21.
“It is a pleasure to recognize these trailblazers for their achievements and accomplishments,” Wilk said in a news release. “As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, it is important to point to individuals whose hard work and heart have made this region stronger and better.”
Maldonado, who has served as superintendent of the Palmdale School District since 2014, was honored for being a leader in the education community. According to Wilk, Maldonado places an emphasis on the success of his students and continues to promote a Dual Immersion curriculum throughout the district. Maldonado has also served as Superintendent for the McFarland Unified School District in Kern County.
The other three honorees were Gloria Garcia, who made history in 2014 as the first Hispanic female to serve as Mayor of Victorville; Sylvia Gaxiola, who works with veteran groups and military families and spouses to ensure veterans, service members and their families in the Antelope Valley and Santa Clarita Valley receive the care they deserve; and Adel Villalobos, the CEO and founder of Lief Labs in Santa Clarita Valley, which has been recognized on the exclusive Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America.
“The influence of our Hispanic and Latino friends and neighbors have enriched our communities and continue to do so,” Wilk stated. “From the very first Hispanic woman to serve as Mayor in Victorville to an educator who advocates for excellence in education for our students, these community leaders deserve this recognition for their tireless efforts year-round. Not only do they step up every day, but they made a tremendous difference during the pandemic, when so many in our community were struggling.”
“Once again, congratulations to these honorees as they represent bold leadership and their hard work shows in the daily lives of those they help to lift up and I am proud to honor them for their service,” Wilk added.
[Information via news release from the office of Senator Scott Wilk.]