It is a bittersweet month for teachers and students at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School in Indio, as Principal Diane Arias’ days come to an end. After over 30 years of service, Mrs. Arias will be retiring at the end of the school year.
“It was really hard for me to make this decision,” she told NBC Palm Springs.
This decision was something she pondered on for months, but ultimately decided that family always comes first.
“I feel like all the years I have been here I have been a minister to the school, I’ve been a minister to the families, to the parish, to the community, and my time now is to be a minister to my parents.”
Mrs. Arias went on to say that her parents have given up everything to get her to where she is today.
“It was through their sacrifices that allowed me to take this journey and take this path that I never thought I would be a part of.”
So, out of all the professions she could have chosen, why did she pick teaching?
“Why not. It is a passion of mine. I love teaching. I love kids and I love to see them learn. I love to see them grow.”
In fact, she began her teaching journey at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School in 1989. Then was promoted to principal in 1999; a feat she will never forget.
“I was nervous because it was a different challenge for me, but I knew that being in a position of leadership was really going to impact the school.”
From spearheading various projects, to helping students grow, Mrs. Arias has done it all. Thus, as she reflects on all of her years here, she can’t help but to sport an ear-to-ear smile on her face.
“The rewarding part of this journey is seeing happy faces and they say, wow this is a great school. Everyone here is happy.”
The reality is, she has created a legacy that students will carry on for years to come.
“We’re a family,” she added.
Avery Crousillac, a student at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School, says Mrs. Arias is all she knows. In other words, Mrs. Arias has been the only principal she has ever known, and is extremely saddened to see her go.
“I’m just going to miss her presence. How she always brought up the room. Her voice at assemblies.”
Julian Angulo, another student at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School says, Mrs. Arias has taught him to be responsible, loving, and to be confident in himself and his abilities.
“She’s one of the best principals in the whole world and we’re going to really miss her at OLPH,” he told NBC Palm Springs.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School will be having a retirement mass and reception in honor of Mrs. Arias on Thursday at 8:30AM. You can find the location below:
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School
82470 Bliss Avenue
Indio, Ca 92201