The positivity principal

Profile | David Arencibia

By Jennifer Hannigan |

“It has definitely been my mission and my passion that I lead by example, and I always want people to say, ‘There's something different about him,’ and the way I live my life,” David Arencibia (’01) said.

His positivity-led approach to leadership was noticed by his peers, which led to his being named 2023 National Principal of the Year Finalist — one of only three finalists out of more than 90,000 secondary principals in the country.

Arencibia started his career as a high school Spanish teacher and football and baseball coach in Texas, but he discovered his calling to mentor and invest in students led him to administrative roles. Now in his seventh year as principal at Colleyville (Texas) Middle School, Arencibia strives to create an environment and culture of positivity and high engagement to make learning fun for the students. As a result, Colleyville Middle School was named a Texas School to Watch and a nationally recognized model campus.

“Our community is so invested in our school and our kids that we actually have more members of our PTA than we have students,” Arencibia said. “That’s really significant when you think about the level of buy-in that represents.”

As his school was being recognized for excellence, so was Arencibia. He was named 2022 Texas Principal of the Year, which put him in the national running as principal of the year and eventually led to being in the top three finalists. He was recognized with the other finalists at a conference and gala in Washington, D.C., and will deliver professional development courses and keynote presentations at various events throughout the year.

“This is an absolute calling, and I feel like I’ve been placed in these positions to really impact and mold our current generation and future generations in a Christlike way,” he said. “It’s not very often you hear people saying they want to be back in middle school, but that’s the kind of environment we’ve tried to create. All my life I’ve been trying to share God’s love and message through what I’m doing, and I think it shows.”


  1. Audrey February 12, 2023 12:58 AM
    I teach at the school mentioned in the article. Dr. Arencibia really is like this in everyday life. He brings a tremendous energy to our school. I am grateful to be at a campus where positivity is a norm.
  2. Suzanne Statler February 17, 2023 7:25 PM
    Congratulations, Mr. Arencibia, on your accomplishments in educating middle school students in Colleyville, TX. Your positive attitude influences students and staff to perform at their highest level. Education needs more leaders like you.

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