Land of Opportunity

    From “Migrant Kid” To Public School Leader

    Adelaida Olivares, Principal
    Cedar Creek High School
    Bastrop, Texas, Bastrop ISD
    Raise Your Hand Texas Alumna ’14 (Harvard – Leadership: An Evolving Vision)

    Despite humble beginnings,  forcing her family to migrate between Mexico and Texas each year, Adelaida Olivares grew up to become a leader on Texas public school campuses. Today, she is the principal at Cedar Creek High School in Bastrop Independent School District. Here, she talks candidly about her upbringing and her parents’ commitment to ensuring each of their children receive a quality education in the United States.

    “What it did for my family is it ended that cycle of poverty within one generation.”

    “Here’s a 4th-grade educated man — the wisest person I know — and he’s married to a 2nd-grade educated woman, the strongest woman I know. And they made a decision. ‘We have to move to the United States and it has to be for school. This is our family mission.’”


    In 2014, Principal Adelaida Olivares was selected by Raise Your Hand Texas for sponsorship to attend its leadership program at the Principals’ Center at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Olivares says while being a principal can be a monumental challenge, it can also be the most rewarding career a person with leadership qualities can choose.

    “I didn’t realize how much I needed this until I got there. I spent the week there and I went…Oh! Now I’m reenergized. Now I can continue this work.”


    On the campus of Cedar Creek High School, Adelaida Olivares is principal. At home, she is the “The Principal Princess.” Olivares shares a story about the positive and lasting impact her campus leadership is having on her 4-year-old daughter, Alejandra.

    “Education was a priority. The parameters were very defined; we were here to go to school.”