Students and community members gathered on Friday, October 6th to celebrate Margaret Heath Day in remembrance of the remarkable pioneer Margaret Heath.
Students Lizzeth Garcia and Sofia Martinez took the stage to share the story of Margaret Heath, who came from Pennsylvania to Baldwin Park and became a principal at Central Elementary in 1913. Dual Language students Gael Mendez and Fernando Ramirez told her story in Spanish sharing all the great efforts Heath brought to Baldwin Park. In 1927, the Baldwin Park community recognized her legacy with the opening of Margaret Heath Elementary, named in her honor.
Every year, students collect coin donations for the tradition of a scholarship honoring an alumni of Margaret Heath Elementary who goes on to attend a BPUSD middle school, and graduates from Baldwin Park High School or Sierra Vista High School.
During the ceremony, Abigail Gil was awarded with this year’s Margaret Heath Scholarship of $500. “I am a product of our Dual Language programs,” Gil said proudly during her acceptance speech. Gil also recited her speech in Spanish, thanking her family, staff, and teachers with a nod to her elementary dual language teachers. Gil is a Baldwin Park High School 2023 graduate, pursuing her college education at Cal State LA majoring in Political Science with aspirations to become a lawyer.
To conclude the event, students sang one of Margaret Heath’s favorites songs “God Bless America.”
“The long-standing tradition of Margaret Heath Day is an impactful celebration. Her legacy continues to inspire us here at Baldwin Park,” said Baldwin Park Unified Superintendent Dr. Froilan N. Mendoza.
Photo 1: Margaret Heath staff Hilda Castillo, Esther Vargas, Laura Reyes, Adriana Aviles, Carmen Ford, and Hilda Ortiz stand with Margaret Heath Scholarship recipient Abigail Gil.
Photo 2: Margaret Heath Scholarship recipient Abigail Gil with her family.
Photo 3: Principal Stephen Compton and mascot Henry the Husky.
Photo 4: Students at Margaret Heath wave their flags while singing "God Bless America."