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TASA’s online Member Services Center is the place to go to renew your membership. Simply log in using your username and password. If you forgot your password, retrieve it here. Once logged in, please click on the My Account tab to make any updates to your profile information. Then simply click on the Membership tab to access the Membership Signup button. Follow the instructions and your TASA membership will be renewed in no time! Questions?
Please read these step-by-step directions or contact Debbie O’Donnell at 512.852.2108.
¡Felicidades!
El Paso High’s Paz named Region 19 Principal of the Year
The top principal in west Texas is an EPISD Proud administrator. The Texas Association of Secondary School Principals announced that El Paso High Principal Mark Paz is the 2020 Region 19 Principal of the Year.
Paz learned about the honor from one of his fellow principals who emailed him a congratulatory note.
“As soon as I read why she was congratulating me, I was flooded by emails from other principals and friends,” he said. “It was exciting and humbling to get so many well wishes. We don’t become administrators to receive individual accolades, but it’s still a great honor to receive one – mostly because it validates the hard work our teachers, staff, and administrators have done so much for the students of El Paso High.”
Ysleta ISD principal Dr. Angela Reyna named best in El Paso region
Dr. Angela Reyna, principal of Parkland Pre-Engineering Middle School, has been named the 2020-2021 Regional Middle School Principal of the Year by the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (TASSP).
The honor annually recognizes outstanding school leaders who have succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students.
“It is my honor and privilege to represent Ysleta ISD and the Parkland community as the 2020-2021 Regional Middle School Principal of the Year,” said Reyna, who is in her first year as principal at Parkland Middle. “The work we do as educators is truly important because we impact the lives of students.
Texas Governor Appoints Eight To Texas School Safety Center Board
Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed Lizeth Cuellar and Michael Slaughter, Ph.D. to the Texas School Safety Center Board for terms set to expire Feb. 1, 2021. Additionally, he has appointed Terri Oldham and reappointed Craig Bessent, Bryan Hedrick, Andrew Kim, Kerri Ranney, and Alan Trevino for terms set to expire on Feb. 1, 2022. The board reports to the governor, the legislature, the State Board of Education, and the Texas Education Agency regarding school safety and security, and advises the center on its function, budget, and strategic planning initiatives.
Lizeth Cuellar of Laredo is the Gear Up facilitator with Laredo Independent School District. She is a member of the Texas Farm Bureau, and currently sits as a board member for Webb County. She is a charter member of Innovative Teachers of Texas. Cuellar received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from St. Mary’s University and a Master in Business Administration from the University of the Incarnate Word.
Austin schools suspend Black students nearly 5 times as often as white students
As the nation focuses on racism in police departments after the death of George Floyd and widespread protests, similar conversations are happening in school districts, where, in places like Texas’ capital, Black students are more likely to be suspended, charged with crimes for misbehavior and expelled.
Black students were suspended at nearly five times the rate of white students in the Austin school district in the 2018-19 school year, according to records obtained by the American-Statesman of the USA TODAY Network through the Texas Public Information Act. These statistics mirror regional and national numbers that have for years shown racial inequality in suspension rates in schools.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights released data in 2014 showing that Black students are suspended and expelled at three times the rate of white students in the United States. The data obtained by the Statesman show that disparity in the Austin district in recent years has been even greater.
How Latino Texans Are Addressing Antiblack Racism
Scroll through Tally Dilbert’s Instagram or TikTok accounts, and you’ll get a small taste of her life as an Afro-Latina blogger in Texas. Between posts highlighting her distinctive sense of fashion, her beauty regimen, and photo shoot tips, you’ll find bilingual videos where the proud catracha—who hails from the Honduran island of Roatán—speaks to her followers directly, sharing fun anecdotes about Honduran slang and her favorite foods, like baleadas and tajadas de plátano.
Dilbert also frequently uses her social media platform to highlight her experience of being black and Latina. In one TikTok, she addresses the camera and says: “This is a message for all my Afro-Latina mamacitas out there: you don’t have pelo malo [bad hair]. No matter what people say, your skin color is beautiful.” In a video titled “Five things Afro-Latinas are tired of hearing,” she lists off statements like “But you really don’t look Latina” or “I didn’t realize there were black people in Latin America.” “Please, for the love of God,” she says in Spanish before switching back to English, “educate yourself, because we’re tired of hearing these things.”
Though Dilbert was always aware of her culture and her race, moving to the U.S. in 2016 led her to embrace her identity as an Afro-Latina. “When I was in Honduras, I wasn’t trying to hide that I was black, but I was trying to blend in,” she says. “I would straighten my hair and speak a certain way, but I wasn’t fully loving myself. People have this one image in their head of how Latinos should look: straight hair, lighter skin, all of that.” But Dilbert says she’s had to repeatedly explain her identity, including to other Latinos in the predominantly Hispanic city of San Antonio, where she lives.
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How to network during a pandemic
Walking into a room of unfamiliar faces can be daunting, especially when you’re trying to make a good impression at a networking event. As large gatherings are off the agenda due to Covid-19 you might be breathing a sigh of relief, but networking hasn’t gone away. Instead, it’s moved online. Here we take a look at the new rules of networking during a pandemic.
The good news is networking has become gentler and more supportive, according to Adam Shaw of The Heart Guy, a health promoter and speaker. That’s because everyone has been affected one way or another by the pandemic. It was never wise to take a clinical approach to networking, but that is truer than ever now, said Shaw. “Don’t look on it as, ‘What’s in it for me?’ Consider how you can help—and not just in a professional sense. Show that you care. People are more sensitive to that now,” he said.
How important is networking?
Whether you are looking for new opportunities or hoping to boost your career, this might be just the ticket, according to Kingsley Aikins, chief executive of The Networking Institute. “Networking is more important than ever,” he said. “A lot of people will be looking for work and this can give you a competitive advantage. The key is to do it sensitively.”
Research conducted on LinkedIn, from 2016, indicated that 85% of its users had found jobs through networking. This makes sense because many people use LinkedIn as a recruitment resource. Real world figures are likely to be lower.
Canutillo ISD moves in digital direction
Canutillo ISD
Canutillo ISD will be the first district in the region and third in the state to take on universal internet connectivity.
At a June 25, 2020, special board meeting, the Canutillo ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved the initial allocation of $300,000 to fund the “Canutillo Connect” initiative, which will bring universal internet connectivity to the school district’s community through an outside wireless mesh network.
“Funding has been primarily directed at in-school internet connectivity,” said Board President Sergio Coronado. “However, in order to close the digital divide, we must address the lack of residential and community access.”
Through a partnership with tech companies Fluidmesh and Cisco, CISD takes a giant leap in becoming a digital community.
Rudolfo Anaya, ‘godfather’ of Chicano literature, dies at 82
Rudolfo Anaya, a writer who helped launch the 1970s Chicano Literature Movement with his novel “Bless Me, Ultima,” a book celebrated by Latinos, has died at 82.
Anaya’s niece, Belinda Henry, said the celebrated author died Sunday at his Albuquerque, New Mexico, home after suffering from a long illness.
Literary critics say Anaya’s World War II-era novel about a young Mexican-American boy’s relationship with an older curandera, or healer, influenced a generation of Latino writers because of its imagery and cultural references that were rare at the time of its 1972 publication.
In a 2013 interview on C-SPAN, Anaya said the idea of the novel came after he had a vision of a woman at the doorway of a room where he was writing.
The Legacy of Racism for Children
The extent of discriminatory treatment Black adults and children experience at every point of contact within the legal system and the biases that result in Black children’s behavior being managed more harshly in school are detailed in two new analyses from researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Their findings are published in the forthcoming book The Legacy of Racism for Children: Psychology, Law, and Public Policy.
The book explores the challenges that racial minority children face due to racism within U.S. law and public policy, from early life experiences to teenage years, and offers recommendations for informed policy and lawmaking. The book is co-edited by Bette L. Bottoms, UIC professor of psychology; Kelly Burke, UIC Ph.D. candidate in psychology; and Margaret Stevenson of the University of Evansville.
As a Racial Reckoning Sweeps the Nation, Parents Still Await a ‘Rallying Cry’ to Change How Race and History Are Taught in Schools
When Natasha Capers, a Brooklyn-based mother of two, found herself sitting in the National Constitution Center with her son and his classmates on a field trip to Philadelphia in 2017, she was shocked to find that, despite the room being filled with mostly Black and Latino students, his fifth-grade teacher was skipping over one important detail.
The Constitution hadn’t given rights to the people who looked like them.
“Are we not going to talk about the fact that the Constitution did not give any of us in this room anything?” she wondered. Capers is the director of the New York City Coalition for Educational Justice, an advocacy group that has, for three years, pushed the city’s school system toward the thing that she sought in that moment: a “culturally responsive” education — teaching that centers the student experience, so learners can see themselves in instruction and how it’s delivered.
“Culturally responsive education is acknowledging that yes, when the Constitution was ratified, it actually did not free us,” Capers says. “We can’t ignore the elephant in the room.”
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