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He Who Came for a Greater Good

By: Gabriella Avellaneda

Last week, I had the chance and privilege to speak with Mr. Magdaleno who is our Chief Innovation Officer at EGP. When I spoke with Mr. Magdaleno, I have to say I was impressed and amazed by his responses to my questions. I learned a lot about his purpose in life, personal interests and understanding as to he joined East Grand Preparatory. Mr. Magdaleno is a great person. A funny and brilliant individual is a way to describe him. You are probably wondering who he is. Let me introduce you to the man who likes to help others and eats at Meso Maya. Ladies and gentlemen the man himself, Mr. Magdaleno!

Mr. Magdaleno is from Mexico City and grew up in East Dallas. Growing up he knew he wanted to help others. As his belief and purpose in helping others he left behind bigger opportunities and money offers.

Why would someone dare to leave money?

I found it very heartwarming to hear his words “I wanted to come back to the neighborhood I grew up in and give y’all one of the best educations that y’all could ever possibly imagine.”

An individual seeking the path to give others the best is surely a true gift. Mr. Magdaleno desires the best for every student here at EGP and wherever it is he goes. In efforts to follow this desire he recruited amazing individuals who he knew would be a great fit to help grow his dream. Yes, they are here working along with him to this day at EGP! Although it was not easy for him to move along different areas, Mr. Magdaleno did not give up. However, he joined us along with other coaches. He is a very busy man indeed; that does not stop him for achieving his goals! Mr. Brannon who is our Superintendent shared the same belief as Mr. Magdaleno. When nobody believed in Mr. Brannon in founding East Grand Preparatory, he didn’t give up on Mr. Brannon. It was pure love and determination that made Mr. Magdaleno work his way through along with Mr. Brannon.

We all have something we do not enjoy doing. Wasting time is the one thing Mr. Magdaleno truly dislikes. He states “No matter how rich you are, we all have the same amount of time. It is what we do with that time that matters.” Indeed! I could not have said it clearer myself! As for someone who does not waste precious valuable time, I learned he gets pretty stressed. He let me know he is a stressful eater. You can agree with me food is great at anytime, right? So, how does he deal with stress? The answer from Mr. Magdaleno himself “Im supposed to exercise, but the healthiest way is by eating and to breathe.” “When do you ever stop and say “ok…breathe? You don’t.” Great advice! Always remember to stop and breathe. Being stressed is not healthy.

During the interview I asked him what he thinks is the best feature in our school. His response “Students…you all.” Every single student at East Grand Preparatory is different in their own way. He wants everyone to know students are amazing. Mr. Magdaleno along with others believe in our students. They believe every student is capable of accomplishing a lot of things.

Of course, Mr. Magdaleno went to school just like every other student. He definitely had to have a favorite subject. What was his favorite? Lunch!? Mr. Magdaleno really enjoys food. I mean, who doesn’t?  Just kidding! Social Studies was his favorite since he enjoyed learning about stories.

 One of his favorite inspirational quotes is one from Winnie the Pooh. “Always remember you are braver than you believe, smarter than you think and loved more than you know.” A very simple but powerful quote. He enjoys working very much. Mr. Magdaleno does not believe the only way to succeed in life is by being ‘book smart’ or in other words smart. Why does he believe that? His words “Because I wasn’t book smart… I just had a lot of ganas (desire).” He refused to quit. According to Mr. Magdaleno hard work is one of the main ingredients for success. Just like Mr. Magdaleno anyone can become something in life. I realized he is a great example for everyone. He is another great leader with very good intentions. Every belief and goal he had in life, he made sure to walk through it despite the challenges.

Mr. Mateo is willing to teach anybody even if they are new to the country or language. Remember we should never give up. His favorite restaurant? Meso Maya! Mr. Magdaleno says there are too many dishes to even mention his personal favorite. However, he definitely recommends this restaurant! Despite his stressful moments he wants everyone to know that you can be successful whether you are from the U.S. or another country. He wants you to know he believes in you. How does he feel about his accomplishments? The feeling he describes is impactful. Impacting another person’s life is what drives him to do greater good.

There is so much to learn about Mr. Magdaleno. Throughout the interview I could see he is a determined individual. With so much beautiful characteristics he proves a perfect example of someone who pushed through life in efforts to bring great impacts upon others. I am very pleased to provide insight on Mr. Magdaleno. If you see him, do thank him for all he has done. His only purpose is to encourage others and change lives. It is his team members and himself who have dedicated great efforts to make East Grand Preparatory a better place for all students. One of his students Nemek, is just one example of many who has succeeded in life because Mr. Magdaleno saw the greater good in him. He was one who impacted Mr. Magdaleno’s life in a positive way.

Mr. Magdaleno is an overachiever. Remember to follow your passion. Remember you can be successful anywhere you go. Like Mr. Magdaleno has said, you are amazing and brilliant. Here is something I learned from his student Nemek is to say thank you in Neapolis.

“Danyavad” (Thank you) Mr. Magdaleno for all you do!

Mr. Mateo Magdaleno