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Covarrubias takes on new adventure as Barr principal

Education has always been important to Josue Covarrubias. Now he gets to share his love of education with Grand Island Public Schools as the new Barr Middle School principal.

“Early on, I knew I wanted to do something great, but I didn’t know what yet. I just knew that education was the way,” Covarrubias said.

He said education was always a top priority in his family. Covarrubias’s parents were middle school drop-outs who always wanted more for their own children.

“At the time, that’s what they had to do. They had to help take care of their family,” Covarrubias said. “They always knew they wanted more for their own children. So education was always something that was very important to my family.”

Covarrubias worked hard at his education, earning lots of success. He credited that drive to the value in education his parents instilled in him.

Education runs in Covarrubias’s family, as he said he has a few family members who are teachers. While attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the South Sioux City native decided he wanted to go into education.

“I wanted to give back to education, since it gave so much to me,” Covarrubias said.

He returned to his hometown after college and became a world languages teacher. Covarrubias taught Spanish for seven years. During that time, he also filled in wherever needed and taught many different subjects.

“That gave me the opportunity to see curriculum in different ways and to also expand my own learning,” Covarrubias said.

He then went into administration and became the dean of students for three years at South Sioux City Middle School before coming to GIPS.

Covarrubias said it was hard leaving his hometown, but Grand Island has been a promising and welcoming community. He said many things attracted him to Grand Island and GIPS, including the diversity and growth.

“Grand Island Public Schools is the leading change agent in Nebraska, and really, in the Midwest,” Covarrubias said of what attracted him to GIPS.

He said GIPS and the Grand Island community share the same morals and cultural values his family does. Covarrubias said when he heard there was an opening at Barr, he did his research. He said it was the perfect place for him to continue to build on the grand successes. Covarrubias said staff have great collaboration, trust for each other and they work hard for their students.

Covarrubias said something he loves about GIPS is the district offers continuous support and resources so teachers and students can be successful. He said the district is big enough to be able to have those resources, but it’s not overwhelming.

“You don’t have to worry about getting lost in a crowd,” Covarrubias said. He said students and teachers aren’t a number in GIPS.

Covarrubias said he’s most excited to see students grow at Barr and to celebrate that.

“Middle school can be a tough time where students are discovering who they are and who they want to be,” he said. “I’m excited to help these students find their success as individuals.”

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