Gustavo Villanueva ('00) | Principal at Craig Middle School

Gustavo Villanueva

Gustavo Villanueva has always felt called to ministry and outreach to the Hispanic community. As principal at Craig Middle School in Abilene, he finds abundant ministry opportunities intermingled with his career in the school system.

I had many experiences at ACU - Welcome Week, clubs, chapel, caring faculty, social events, spiritual experiences, spring break campaigns, meals at professors' homes, challenging classes - that all together made my time at ACU a defining experience.

"My undergraduate degree was in Christian ministry and education. This was done by design," he says. "The roles are very closely related and complement each other well. I enjoy both roles but did not want to depend financially on a ministerial role. 

"My current role as principal is very much a ministry," he says.

Villanueva was recently named the District 14 president-elect for the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association, which represents more than 5,800 Pre-K through 8th-grade school leaders.

Villanueva graduated from ACU with his B.A. in Education/Christian Ministry in 1997 and his master's in education in 2000. Before becoming principal at Craig, he was principal at College Heights Elementary and assistant principal at Madison Middle School, both in Abilene. 

His experience at ACU prepared him well for his career, Villanueva says. "Professors sought to provide practical, current and relevant experiences. Oftentimes these experiences went beyond the classroom setting."

ACU also prepared him to face the challenges of an administrative role in public schools. "A major challenge in educational leadership involves balancing the interests of all stakeholders (students, parents, teachers, district, state and federal government and the local community) in major and daily decisions," Villanueva says. "ACU’s Christian approach and quality professors - that value people and seek win-win solutions - were undoubtedly essential in preparing me for my current role."

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Serving Local Schools
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ACU Teacher Education majors get hands-on with students at a local elementary school.