PBCSD Hispanic Administrators Hold Key Roles

PBCSD Hispanic Administrators Hold Key Leadership Roles in State Organization
Posted on 10/12/2021
PBCSD Hispanic Administrators

Several Hispanic administrators in the Palm Beach County School District are also members of the Florida Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (FL-ALAS). In their respective roles for FL-ALAS, they each bring valuable perspectives and important contributions.

Patricia Trejo is the Administrative Program Planner for Latino/Hispanic Studies, and she serves as the President of FL-ALAS. Dr. Patricia Ordoñes-Feliciano leads West Gate Elementary School as its Principal, while also holding the position of Secretary of FL-ALAS. Dr. Enrique Vela, the Principal at Park Vista Community High School, is the Association’s Vice-President.

“Throughout my journey in educational leadership, I have been blessed to have the support and guidance of others who were willing to speak up on my behalf and prepare me for incredible opportunities,” Dr. Vela said. “My service on the Executive Board of Florida ALAS is a way for me to express my gratitude by investing in others through mentoring, professional development, and advocacy that impacts not only those in Palm Beach County, but throughout the state. It is a privilege and responsibility that I value greatly.”

The Association works to ensure that the educational needs of all students are met, with a particular focus on Hispanic/Latino youth. FL-ALAS supports Florida State Statute 1003.42 (p) regarding Required Instruction, that mandates curriculum must include the study of Hispanic history, culture, and contributions to the United States.

The representation of Hispanic/Latino history and culture within the curriculum and instruction helps Hispanic/Latino students build healthy self-awareness, pride in their heritage, and a sense of belonging.

“Education is about igniting students’ curiosity and creativity to get them to think about planning their future and their place in society,” Dr. Ordoñes-Feliciano said. “This includes looking at academics as well as the social and emotional aspects of teaching and learning.”

Each year, FL-ALAS supports the Hispanic/Latino Studies Institute, an event that increases cultural competence and assists in the development of culturally responsive classrooms. FL-ALAS also advocates for an increase in diversity among educators, ensuring that Latino students have positive role models in the teachers and administrators they encounter in their academic careers.

On September 23, FL-ALAS hosted the Hispanic Heritage Month Social, attended by several prominent Latino community leaders, administrators, and superintendents, including the keynote speaker Alberto Carvalho, Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent. Additionally, District 2 Palm Beach County School Board member Alexandria Ayala and District Superintendent Mike Burke, were also on hand as special guest speakers.

“We proudly work to build capacity, promote best practices, advocate for sound educational policies, advance equity and equal access to education, build pathways for leadership, foster community outreach, encourage parent involvement, and provide networking opportunities for educators,” Trejo said, in talking about the Association.

During the national Association’s annual Education Summit in Washington, D.C. on October 9, Trejo received a $10,000 Aspiring Superintendents Scholarship from Curriculum Associates. The award will go toward her current pursuit of a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University.

For additional information about FL-ALAS, visit their website, www.flalas.org, or email floridaalas@gmail.com.

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