Colorado’s Esquibel family has their fingerprints all over the state’s education system. Dr. Antonio Esquibel began his career as an educator at Englewood High School where he taught Latin and Spanish. Following his time at Englewood High School, Esquibel received accolades like the Hispanic Annual Salute Award and the Cesar Chavez Leadership Award in 2004 for contributions to Colorado’s Latino community.
His son, Antonio Esquibel Jr. followed in his footsteps. Esquibel Jr. graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver with a B.A. in Spanish and Chicano Studies and a certificate in secondary education. He served as principal at Abraham Lincoln High School, located in Denver. The school is home to over 1,900 students, with a high percentage of its student body being Hispanic. Esquibel Jr. worked as principal at the school from 2006 to 2011.
“We provided students the opportunity to earn two years of college credit for free, saw a huge student enrollment increase, experienced high academic growth, increases in attendance and graduation rates, and may more students attending college after high school. Just as important, Lincoln was a school that parents wanted their children to attend due to high expectations, school safety and overall sense of school pride,” Esquibel Jr. wrote in a letter to the Abraham Lincoln High School community about his return to the school’s principal position. “Matter of fact we had a waiting list of families trying to register their students at Lincoln.” Today, Antonio Esquibel Jr. adds, “I am excited to return to Abraham Lincoln High School as principal. All students will be prepared and connected for college and career success.”
He taught for one year at Niver Creek Middle School in Northglenn for one year and Alomosa High School for one year where he also coached football. Esquibel Jr. first appeared at Abraham Lincoln High School as a teacher in the mid-1990s where he taught for seven years. An alumni of the school, he served as an assistant principal and received an appreciation award from the Denver Scholarship Foundation. Esquibel Jr. has also served on the Latino Association of School Principals and has worked with National Staff Development Council, a program for educators and schools.
In the letter, Esquibel Jr. said he will ensure the school will have a safe school environment, academic excellence for all students, instructional excellence for all teachers, expectations that all students will earn college credit while in high school and will become successful in college and careers. He also wants a strong commitment from parents and community members to provide multiple opportunities for empowerment, students to be challenged academically and provided supports to prepare them for postsecondary options after high school, a targeted focus on ninth grade students to ensure they have a good high school experience and a positive and proud Lincoln High School culture.
He dreams of the school becoming a top high school in Denver and has spent time meeting with students, teachers, parents and community members.