Organizational Announcements and Statements-4Organization to guide twenty-two professionals to board placements in education organizations across the nation, especially in Texas and New England

Boston, MA Latinos for Education announced today the newly selected 2022 fellows of their Latino Board Fellowship program. The Fellowship program will support and place 22 Latino leaders from across the country who work within and outside the education sector onto governing boards of schools and education nonprofit organizations. This program aims to tackle the lack of representation and inclusion of Latinos within the education sector, given the disconnect that exists between the growing Latino student population and Latinos on education boards, in the teaching profession, and on school boards.

The 2022 Latino Board Fellows will participate in comprehensive training and a rigorous culture-affirming process in order to prepare them to serve on governing boards of schools and education non-profits. The training includes a series of seminars featuring thought-provoking readings and discussions about the state of Latino education, nonprofit governance, and how to dismantle white-dominant cultures within organizations to better serve Latino communities. 

“As future board members, this group of Latino leaders will play an  important role in addressing educational inequity and influencing better educational outcomes for all children, but especially Latino students,” said Dr. Armando Orduña, Managing Director of Programs and Partnerships at Latinos for Education, Houston. “The pandemic has really exploited the gaps in our education system, and created a greater sense of urgency for more Latinos to become involved within the education sector. This program is a space for Latinos to acquire the skills they need to understand the root of the problem and find ways to overcome it with like-minded people.”

Past participants in the Latino Board Fellowship program have gone on to take on important roles within the education sector, including Dr. Lupita Hinojosa, Spring Independent School District’s (TX) first ever Latina Superintendent. 

“More organizations and schools are recognizing the lack of Latino representation within their boards, despite the fact that many predominantly serve Latino families and communities. Throughout the pandemic, we saw many make commitments to equity and we are letting them know that we have a vast network of talented and whip smart Latinos ready to serve on their boards,” said Dr. Jessica Huizenga, Managing Director at Latinos for Education, Massachusetts. “I’m excited to not only see how many of our fellows immediately join boards, but what else they accomplish as a result of the network they build with each other across the country.” 

Learn more about Latinos for Education or the Latino Board Fellowship program here. Below are the 2022 fellows:

  • Alicia Baturoni Cortez, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Education Programs Specialist
  • Michelle Cantu-Wilson, San Jacinto College, Director, Teaching and Learning Initiatives & Special Projects
  • Paola Gonzalez Fusilier, Clearhope Counseling & Wellness, Licensed Professional Counselor
  • Ruth Lopez, University of Houston, Assistant Professor
  • Isabella Maldonado, Texas Education Agency, District Support Specialist 
  • Amira Plascencia, Shell, Technical Translator  
  • Mary Jane Sotelo, Fifth Third Bank, Vice President 
  • Michelle Tovar, Holocaust Museum Houston, Director of Public Engagement 
  • Julie Lara, Texas Education Agency, Director
  • Michelle Mercado, TNTP, Vice President, Southwest Region
  • Daniel Sanchez, Board of Directors, various media and telecommunications companies
  • Jennifer Welch, Passaic Public Schools, Teacher
  • Benjamin Cabrera, North Andover Public Schools, Director of Math 
  • Shirley Cardona, Ellevation Education, Vice President of Marketing
  • Tasha Espendez, Raising A Reader Massachusetts, Associate Program Director
  • Brian Gonzalez, Sigo Seguros, Vice President of Marketing
  • Erasmo Montalvan, Pearson, Director of Business Development
  • Carlos Quintanilla, Nixon Peabody, Trade Settlement Specialist  
  • Shelby Shaw, Mount Wachusett Community College, Director of Retention
  • Gabriela Taveras, Equal Pay Group, Vice President
  • Claudia Urrea, MIT, Senior Associate Director for pK-12
  • Maria Vega-Viera, Lynn Community Health Center, Quality Control- Coder

Media Relations Contact:

Sarah Medrano