Margaret B. Henderson Elementary School

If my staff see a child that is not participating in class or is absent a lot, we stay on top of it and find out what the underlying problem is. The health of our students is important to us.” 

- Ida Escobedo, Principal



District: Dallas Independent School District
Location: Dallas, Texas
Enrollment: 463 students
Joined Healthy Schools Program: 2009


At the age of nine, Ida Escobedo’s teacher notified her parents that she noticed Ida becoming less active and more fatigued at school. She was diagnosed with an enlarged heart, which required open heart surgery to correct. Decades later, Ida hasn’t forgotten the important role schools play in protecting children’s health. As a principal, she believes that schools are the first line of defense that set students up for future success. That’s why she’s pioneered a healthier learning environment at Margaret B. Henderson Elementary where students start the day with breakfast in the classroom, track their steps with pedometers, try fresh fruits and vegetables grown in the school garden and get moving with fitness equipment in the gym before or after school. To ensure her students continue these healthy habits at home, Ida invited their parents to participate in cooking classes and shared healthy tips in the school newsletter. As a result, Ida says, “This Program has made a big difference. Our kids are doing really well academically. We have some of the lowest disciplinary rates in the district and our attendance has gone up.”


Meet Ida

Ida Escobedo has been the principal of Margaret B. Henderson Elementary School for 12 years and has been part of the Dallas Independent School District for 33 years. Prior to becoming an administrator, Ida also taught physical education.