The Cartwright Elementary School District (CESD) hosted a special ceremony on August 21, 11 a.m. to noon, to mark the dedication of the Gov. Raúl H. Castro Middle School Academy of Fine Arts.
The middle school is located at 2730 N. 79th Ave. in Phoenix. It was opened and named for Raúl H. Castro, the only Latino governor in Arizona history, in 2008. Going forward, the school will serve as the district’s new arts academy.
“My father always credited the many remarkable achievements of his life to two things: public education and a commitment to community service,” said Beth Castro. “His education offered him countless opportunities, but it was his tireless work ethic and belief in the value of public service that inspired him to reach his goals.”
“This rededication is about opportunity, about a place where scholars can come to explore and dream and leave our district with talents that will help change the world,” said CESD Superintendent Dr. LeeAnn Aguilar-Lawlor. “Governor Castro opened the door for all of us so that we could dream big and believe we could accomplish anything we set our minds on, as long as we worked hard and always took the high road.”
Gov. Castro was born in Cananea, Sonora in 1916. He came to the United States from Mexico undocumented with his parents and siblings two years later. The family arrived during the Mexican Revolution and amid the 1918 global Spanish flu pandemic. Castro graduated from Douglas High School, Arizona State Teachers College (now called Northern Arizona University), and the University of Arizona College of Law (now called the James E. Rogers College of Law).
“This ceremony will allow us to learn about the man who inspired us and opened the door to a new future of opportunity in our community,” said Theresa Trujillo, the arts academy’s new principal. “Our team of teachers and educational support professionals are excited to offer courses that will ignite the creativity and ingenuity that our scholars will carry into high school, college, career and beyond.”
The event’s special guests will include: Beth Castro, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, CESD Superintendent Dr. LeeAnn Aguilar-Lawlor, CESD Board President Marisa Hernandez, Mexico’s Consul General in Phoenix, Jorge Mendoza Yescas, Honorary Consul Emeritus to El Salvador Enrique Melendez (Gov. Castro served as U.S. ambassador to El Salvador from 1964 to 1968), Gov. Raúl H. Castro Middle School Academy of Fine Arts Principal Theresa Trujillo, Grand Canyon University student Miguel Camacho (a graduate of the middle school), Senior Army JROTC Instructor David Nguyen, and actor-playwright James E. Garcia, author of American Dreamer: The Life & Times of Raul H. Castro.