"Of all the campuses I visited Luther was the most welcoming. There was a clear focus on community."
After graduation, Anthony Nunez ’04 began his career in education in Las Vegas, Nevada, as an employee of Teach for America. While continuing to teach for five years, he received two master’s degrees: one in curriculum and instruction and another in instructional leadership. He then spent another five years as an assistant principal for several elementary schools in Las Vegas. In May of 2014, Anthony began his current position as principal of Jacob E. Manch Elementary School.
Located within a diverse and economically depressed community in Las Vegas, Jacob E. Manch was identified as a Turnaround School “due to its underperformance, significant rate of discipline referrals, and high student and staff transiency.” While principal, Anthony has made significant improvements to the school by gathering “a dedicated team that has increased not only student achievement, but also community access to healthcare, mental healthcare, food, and clothing.”
Anthony attributes his strong communication and leadership skills to his time at Luther, and the college’s focus on community. “In each of my classes,” he says, “there was an opportunity to construct a collective knowledge, which was gained through cooperative learning and discourse.” As a principal, Anthony believes these skills are crucial. “You absolutely must be able to engage your constituents and empower your co-workers,” he says. “I’m confident that it is my ability to cooperate that has made me a competitive candidate for all my professional pursuits.”
Anthony came to Luther interested in studying a wide variety of subjects. He wanted college to be a time to take risks, explore, and venture beyond what he knew. Although he was a sociology major, he completed courses in a variety of other disciplines, such as gender studies, Asian religions, African history, writing, and oil painting. “While none of those tied directly to my major, I carry lessons from each of those courses with me in my personal and professional life,” he says. “There is no better way to develop creativity and critical thinking than exploring knowledge completely foreign to you.”
“Of all the campuses I visited,” Anthony says, “Luther was the most welcoming. There was a clear focus on community.” One community that he was particularly involved in was the Luther swim team, which he was a part of for all four years.