About Armandina Farias
Armandina was born on February 28, 1932, in Palito Blanco, Texas, a small rural farm community in South Texas. She was the youngest of 12 children. Armandina graduated from Ben Bolt High School as the Valedictorian in 1949. In pursuit of higher education, she attended Texas Women’s University and earned a bachelor’s degree in education in May 1953.
Her career in H.I.S.D began with her assignment as a sixth-grade teacher at DeZavala Elementary in September 1960. A predominantly Mexican American school, her bilingual skills proved very valuable in communicating with the student’s parents as she felt strongly that their involvement was a key to the student’s educational success. She also taught at Gregg and Garden Villas Elementary Schools.
In 1976, after the death of her husband and with two children in college, she enrolled in Texas Southern University to pursue her master's. In May 1977, she received her master's degree in education, a feat in itself, as she had to spend countless hours studying after teaching during the day.
Her 1st principal assignment was at Robert E. Lee Elementary in August 1977. Within a short period of time, Robert E. Lee began to see improvement in academics and was recognized by the District for its efforts.
In 1987, she was selected to become the principal at Thomas Jefferson Elementary. As most inner city and bilingual schools, Jefferson did not have any fine arts or extracurricular activities for its students. Immediately, violin classes, a choir, a ballet folklorico group, basketball teams and a cheerleading squad were instituted. Through successful PTO fundraising activities, monies were often allocated towards items needed for these programs, such as uniforms and equipment.
The staff and faculty dedicated the 1997-1998 school year to Ms. Farias after her sudden death on August 17, 1997. Thomas Jefferson reached its goal and was exemplary in the April 1998 TAAS test. In recognition to Ms. Farias’ dedication, commitment towards education and hard work, Jefferson’s library was named the Armandina G. Farias Memorial Library and an oak tree was planted in the schoolyard in her memory in May 1998.
Ms. Farias was a member of the Parent Teacher Organization, Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisor Association, Phi Delta Kappa, National Educators Association, and Boy Scouts of America Hispanic Group to name a few. She was inducted into the National Hall of Fame of Hispanic Women in Leadership in 1990. She participated in many educational committees and attended various conferences representing H.I.S.D both as a participant and a presenter.