• DeMiguel's Namesake

    DeMiguel Elementary School, which opened in the fall of 1989, was named after long-time Flagstaff educator, Manuel DeMiguel.

    Mr. DeMiguel began his school career as a Spanish speaking student. As he struggled with English, he found strength in the people around him, his family and himself. He graduated from high school, then enlisted in the Marines during World War II, excited about the opportunity to serve his country. The night before Mr. DeMiguel was to be shipped out, he and several friends were on their way up Mars Hill toward Lowell Observatory when the car engine exploded, severely injuring Mr. DeMiguel's arm and hand. The untimely accident took away the opportunity for him to serve in the military.

    The recovery process took more than a year. For awhile, the infection was so bad that he was in danger of having his arm amputated. Fortunately, doctors were able to administer penicillin to him, the new "wonder drug," to stem the infection. Mr. DeMiguel was the first person in Coconino County to receive the new drug.

    Taking everything in stride, Manuel DeMiguel enrolled in college, something no one in his family had yet accomplished. His goal was to earn a teaching degree. He worked his way through college as a janitor at South Beaver School. After graduating with honors, he became a teacher and then a principal—the first Spanish-speaking principal in the Flagstaff School District. Although he later went on to become an assistant superintendent in Flagstaff, his real love was being a principal, where he had close contact with both teachers and students. He returned to Killip School as principal before retiring.

    Mr. DeMiguel and his wife Annie, a long-time teacher at Weitzel School, contributed to the city of Flagstaff through organizations and community service. Many young people in Flagstaff have had their lives enriched because of these caring individuals.

    We are proud to have our school named after Manuel DeMiguel, a great educator in our community.

    Mr. DeMiguel and Family