By: Elvira Chavaria, HAL Graduate
On Tuesday, December 13th, we held our last Hispanic Austin Leadership Education Session of 2011. The goal of the Education Session was to provide participants with views into the Hispanic education experience through the testimonials of school administrators, parents, students and community leaders. The session also explored alternative approaches to education, including charter schools and non-profit organization ventures.
State Farm began events with a video spotlight on its Educational Initiative. Mark Williams, AISD Board Chair, then described the financial and other challenges that AISD faces in the coming and subsequent years. Susan Dawson, Director of the E3 Alliance, followed Mr. Williams and provided numerical and statistical facts on the state of education in Central Texas to complete the overview for participants.
The highlight of the morning was the Education Panel Discussion which featured Donna Linn, principal, Galindo Elementary; Caroline Sweet, 2011 AISD Teacher of the Year from Metz Elementary; Bernardo Martinez, parent support specialist, Wooten Elementary; and Diana Orrozco-Lapray, a UT Senior and Hispanic Scholar Consortium recipient. Christopher Rios, 2011 HAL Graduate, served as moderator. HAL participants learned about how the roles of principal, teacher and parent support specialist exceed our assumptions and are focused as much with helping the parents as helping the students.
A quick tour of the 3M Innovation Center preceded lunch. The afternoon then featured four speakers who direct community programs available to students and parents:
Andrea Ogilvie, director, UT Equal Opportunity in Engineering Program
Lauren Contreras & Jessica Degrado, representatives, College Forward
Jeanne Goka, principal, Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders
Sylvia Acevedo, CEO, Communicard
Thanks to the HAL Education Session Planning Committee: Dana Azurin, Elvira Chavaria, Christopher Rios and Mary Velasquez for organizing an outstanding session.