It’s been quite a whirlwind for Tracy Echeverria the last couple of weeks after being chosen for a position she’s coveted for quite some time.
Nov. 6 marked her first day as the new principal of Andrew J. Mitchell Elementary School. She replaced Ben Day, who departed in late September after holding the position since 2010.
She comes to Mitchell from Roy Martin Middle School in Las Vegas, where she served as assistant principal.
“I heard about the opening at the end of September but the community had already been talking about the opening because they were sad to hear that Mr. Day was leaving because he was such a fixture and powerful leader here at this school,” she said.
“I have always been interested in this school. I was a substitute teacher here a long time ago and toward the end of my substitute teaching days, Ben was the principal. I really liked everything he had going on here.”
In fact, as part of receiving her administrative degree, there was an assignment to interview a principal who changed the culture of the school they led. Without any hesitation she chose Day because of all the changes he had implemented at Mitchell, including the Leader in Me and 7 Habits.
Following the interview process, she was offered the position late last month, which includes being principal of both Mitchell and Harry Reid Elementary School in Searchlight.
“I was just thrilled,” she said upon receiving the offer. “You can’t imagine how happy I was. These last couple of weeks have definitely been a bit of a blur.”
In some situations, taking over a school nearly midway through a school year may be difficult. Again, praising Day and staff, she said it’s been very smooth so far.
“I don’t think it’s much more of a challenge,” the Battle Mountain, Nevada native said. “Everything comes with its pluses and minuses but everything here is already running very smoothly. That part of it is nice. One of the challenges may have been that they ran for a few weeks without a principal but they were in excellent hands with Mr. Schrock (King principal Jason Schrock) next door.
“So, it’s been quite easy and lovely to walk into this position. It’s an excellent school and it’s now my job to find all the things they have going on, find ways to continue to support those efforts while looking for ways to make things even better. I couldn’t have asked for a better welcoming.”
And even though Echeverria may be new to the school, she is far from being a newcomer to Boulder City. Her family has lived here since 1997 with both her sons being BCHS graduates.
“I’m very excited to serve this community because we love Boulder City,” she said.