Nosotras empowers school administrators
In 1989, when the Arizona Hispanic School Administrators Association (AHSAA) was formed, there were about 20 Latino superintendents in Arizona, and only one – Debra Gomez of the Tempe Elementary School District – was Latina, says Jose Leyba, a former superintendent of the Isaac Elementary School District in Phoenix and one of the founders of AHSAA.
Today, there are 15 Latino superintendents, three of whom are Latinas. “So, even though we have made a few gains, we have actually lost ground,” Leyba says.
In order to prepare more Latinas to become superintendents, AHSAA, through its Nosotras program, is empowering more Latina educators to lead districts.
Juliet Carrion, a principal at J.B. Sutton Elementary School in the Isaac Elementary School District in Phoenix, created Nosotras in 2009. In partnership with AHSAA, she facilitates a unique and on-going professional development program for Latina school administrators through a series of workshops at which they receive training in personal and professional development.
She says experienced school-district administrators are invited to the workshops to speak on topics such as: Balancing Your Personal and Professional Life, Interviewing Techniques, Using Data to Make Decisions, Sharing Leadership, Creating an Environment that Facilitates Learning, and How to Deal with Conflict.
The Nosotras seminars originated after Carrion completed a research study as part of her doctoral program. Carrion was among the first 20 doctoral graduates of Arizona State University’s College of Teacher Education and Leadership.
The study used a multi-media website to accurately depict the struggles and steps that veteran Latina school district leaders experienced while moving up the school-district ranks to school superintendency.
“Providing the Nosotras leadership workshops over the past three years to women school leaders … has provided us female leaders with a safe networking environment, as well as to further develop our leadership skills,” Carrion says.
In 2013, the remaining Monday training dates are March 4, April 8, May 6 and June 3. Workshop hours are 4:45-6:45 p.m. The location is the J.B. Sutton Elementary School at 1001 N. 31st Ave., Phoenix. To register for Nosotras, contact Rene Diaz, AHSAA executive director, at 480-286-6825, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. The AHSAA website, azhsaa.org, also has information about Nosotras.