Leading from the Heart at Indian Creek Elementary

He’s known for his cheery demeanor and big heart. He has spent most of his educational career around Southwest ISD middle schools as a teacher and assistant principal, but this year Mr. Richard Riojas is taking the helm as Principal of Indian Creek Elementary.

“It’s so different. I’m used to middle school students running away from me. Here, the elementary students run towards me. They just want to give so much love and they want to be acknowledged,” said Riojas.

The former Army soldier made the transition to education nearly 16 years ago. He started at Scobee Middle School and eventually moved to Resnik and McAuliffe Middle Schools.

The most significant difference he has noticed is, “These younger kids learn differently than older students. I’m fascinated by the differences. The fundamentals are taught here, so this level is very important for the success of our students in the long run. It’s my goal to ensure we create a strong foundation to build upon,” said Riojas.

Although Principal Riojas is not homegrown; he says he bleeds green. Over the years, he has seen the District grow and he says he is proud of the opportunities the District provides for its students. “I want Indian Creek to shine. Our community deserves the best.” He hopes to continue providing innovative programming at Indian Creek.

Riojas is making connecting with families a top priority. He has an open door policy, but most days he can be seen greeting parents as they drop their children off for school. Riojas credits his team for creating engaging and interactive events for students and their families. “Our social workers do so much for our students. They are amazing,” Riojas states.

Riojas says he will always value his time spent at Southwest ISD middle school campuses, but now, his heart is at Indian Creek. Simply put, Riojas states, “I love what I do. I have a great appreciation for our students and I have fun.”