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Texas News
Emma Leza named UISD’s next Associate Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction
United Independent School District Board of Trustees and Superintendent Roberto J. Santos were pleased to announce this week Emma Leza as the Associate Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction.

Leza is a 26-year veteran educator of United ISD with an extensive background in education. She is a graduate of Texas A&M International University. She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting, a Bilingual/ESL and Reading Education Certificate, a Principal Certificate and a Master of Science in education administration.

Donna school board names Anthony Sorola as acting superintendent
The Donna school district announced Thursday that its board of trustees voted to appoint an acting superintendent.

In a news release, the district announced that Anthony Sorola, assistant superintendent for human resources, will serve as acting superintendent starting June 25.

The move comes after outgoing superintendent Hafedh Azaiez announced in May that he accepted a job as superintendent for the Round Rock Independent School District.

Ysleta ISD Visual Arts Programs dominate Congressional Art Awards
With a podium sweep of the 2021 Congressional Art Competition, and five others placing in the Top 10, the Ysleta ISD Visual Arts programs again proved to be the ones to beat this year.

“The 2021 Congressional Art Awards contest was just another example of their stunning success,” Ysleta ISD officials shared. “YISD has won 13 of the last 14 years in this contest, and this year’s success and achievement are astounding.”

Of the over 100 entries into this contest, YISD schools took eight of the top 10 finalist positions and won 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.

The intersection of immigration and education advocacy; Immigrant Heritage Month; Voter registration
Texas AFT Higher Education Committee explores the ‘Intersection of Immigration and Education’

“We do this work because the experiences of our students and our wider community, and our work can not be separated.”

That sentiment from Karen Reyes, an Austin ISD teacher and Education Austin board member, framed a virtual discussion on immigration and education hosted by Texas AFT’s Committee on Higher Education in May.

Inside the New Luxury Campus for Texas Education Leaders
Charles Butt’s Holdsworth Center offers leadership training—and much-needed respect—for superintendents, principals, and teachers at Texas public schools.

Most of the public educators who catch their first glimpse of the Holdsworth Center, the new $200 million complex where they can “learn, reflect, and grow,” have the same reaction. After clearing the guardhouse and curving down a road that slopes seductively toward Lake Austin, they cannot believe their eyes.

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Supporting Your Career
Does Customizing Every Resume Work? The Answer May Surprise You
David was a potential resume writing client who contacted me as he was exasperated because his resume was not yielding any results. He just wasn’t getting any interviews, and he was frustrated about all the time he was spending customizing each resume before he applied. 

He explained, “I haven’t job hunted in quite a while, so I did my research on how job hunting had changed. I read online that the current advice was that I should customize every resume I send out and be sure to stuff it with keywords. This is not working for me as I spend hours per application and I’m getting nowhere. Can you look at my resume and tell me what I’m doing wrong?” 

National News
Betsy DeVos left Washington 5 months ago. Her legacy is alive and well.
On issues like charter schools and sexual misconduct, conservative lawmakers and activists have stepped in to preserve the work of Donald Trump’s education secretary.

The Biden administration is trying to scrub Betsy DeVos’ policy fingerprints from the Education Department on everything from for-profit colleges to sex-based discrimination.

Standing in their way is an array of conservative politicians and advocacy groups eager to keep her policy agenda afloat after she has largely receded from public view.

Language trade-off? No, bilingual children reliably acquire English by age 5
Study shows minority dual language exposure doesn’t threaten English acquisition by children in the US

In the United States, more than 12 million children hear a minority language at home from birth. More than two-thirds hear English as well, and they reach school age with varying levels of proficiency in two languages. Parents and teachers often worry that acquiring Spanish will interfere with children’s acquisition of English.

When principals maintain classroom roles, students and staff benefit
While most principals have spent time as teachers at some point, there is value in remaining closely connected to the classroom. At the Weilenmann School of Discovery, a charter school outside of Salt Lake City, administrators continue to spend time teaching students, which lets them “walk the walk,” according to an Edutopia article.

Utilizing this approach can help administrators build credibility and leadership. School community also benefits when teachers can see the vulnerability in their leaders, who in turn are maintaining firsthand experience of how their decisions impact the classroom.

Under Trump, gains in health care coverage for Latino children mostly erased
More than 1.8 million Latino children lacked health coverage as of 2019, five times more than in 2016.

Latino children were disproportionately affected by an overall increase in child uninsured rates between 2016 and 2019 when Donald Trump was president, according to a recent study.

More than 1.8 million Latino children lacked health coverage as of 2019, a rate of 9.3 percent, according to the study from the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University released June 8. That is five times more than in 2016.

4 ways to get more Black and Latino teachers in K-12 public schools
Black children are more likely to score higher on standardized tests and finish high school and want to attend college, and less likely to be suspended, if they have a Black teacher. Similarly, studies show that Latino students who have a Latino teacher are more likely to want to take advanced coursework.

This data reflects earlier research on Black and Latino teachers and the positive social and emotional experiences they create for their students.

How one music director is using strings to help students embrace their Latino heritage
The Latino Strings Program performed at the White House back in 2017 under President Obama’s administration.

Dinora Marquez founded the Latino Strings Program at the United Community Center 19 years ago, with a dream to give back to the blooming Latino community.

“I arrived in this country when I was 10 years old. I didn’t speak the language and the instrument became my voice,” said Marquez as she held her violin tightly.

Las Tienditas
This Week’s Featured Sponsor
TALAS sponsors make this newsletter and other TALAS activities possible. Please support them. Click on the logo to learn more!
Vanir has delivered more than 1,000 projects for more than 100 school districts, totaling more than $6 billion in modernization and new construction cost. We facilitate effective and efficient coordination between district planners, regulatory agencies, community and user groups, advisory committees, design consultants and dozens of other participants.

Our education sector projects have included master planning, needs assessments, constructability review, project scheduling and budgeting, bidding, award, on-site construction management and project closeout. We also provide staff augmentation services such as “owner’s rep” and have managed architect, contractor and other professional consultant selection. Our services range from condition assessment/feasibility studies to complete program management for a number of districts.

Vice President / Area Manager