Renew your membership today!
TASA’s online Member Services Center is the place to go to become a member of TALAS. Please read these step-by-step directions or contact Debbie O’Donnell at 512.852.2108.
Texas News
El Paso ISD names Mark Paz as new assistant superintendent of schools
The El Paso Independent School District announced that Mark Paz is the new Assistant Superintendent of Schools, a position that will provide guidance and support to campus principals to help schools develop higher academic standards.

Paz, who has been principal at El Paso High School since 2018, will assume his new role on Monday.

A curriculum and instructional leader, Paz previously served as principal of Canutillo Middle School in the Canutillo Independent School District. His history in EPISD is long, having served as a teacher at Armendariz Middle School, a coordinator at Irvin High School and an assistant principal at El Paso High.

A corrido is written for the lost “Angels of Uvalde” as Latino artists begin crafting tributes
Through music and painting, artists have begun works to preserve the lives lost in the Robb Elementary School shooting. “We want them to be monumental,” one artist said. “Because those lives should’ve been monumental.”

At their heart, corridos are about preserving a story. The traditional songs are meant to usher the present into folklore, capturing the accounts of people, of journeys, and in the case of “El Corrido de Los Angeles de Uvalde,” of tragedy.

Austin ISD dual-language students complete program they started as first graders
Austin ISD’s dual-language program is now 12 years old. That means students who started with the program in first grade are today graduating from high school.

Among the graduates at Wednesday’s commencement for Travis Early College High School was a small group of students who have completed 12 years of dual language education. They’re now ready to face the world in two languages.

West Oso superintendent delays retirement in response to Uvalde shooting
West Oso ISD Superintendent Conrado Garcia is delaying his retirement in response to the mass killing at a Uvalde school two weeks ago.

A news release from the school district said the board of trustees believes Garcia and his leadership team “will provide the district an opportunity to regroup and continue the work in the community.”

“We are confident that this decision is in the best interest of the district and will allow us to move forward and prepare for the 2022-2023 school year,” the release states.

Making Sense of Greg Abbott’s Reaction to the Uvalde Shooting
The governor has long struggled with crisis management, in part because he always strives to avoid taking political risks.

Just about anyone who saw Uvalde’s state senator, Roland Gutierrez, beg Governor Greg Abbott last week to call a special session to address gun violence would have been moved to tears, and probably to action. Gutierrez was respectful as he beseeched the governor, who sat above him on a dais, but he was clearly near the end of his tether. “I don’t know how to express the loss of the families that I’ve talked to,” Gutierrez said, his voice quaking as he opened his palms skyward in that universal gesture of helplessness. “I know you feel it too,” he continued, pointing a finger at Abbott. “You have to do something, man.”      

Upcoming Events
Save the Date!
Save the date for the TALAS Summer Conference 2022:

Tuesday, June 21, 2022
Kalahari Resort
Round Rock, TX

Stay tuned for continued updates on this exciting event.
The Holdsworth Center Webinar:
Why Invest in Strengthening the Principal Leadership Bench?
Thursday, June 9th, 2022 at 10 a.m.
Now more than ever, principals must be prepared to navigate ambiguity and respond to challenges with creativity. Aspiring principals need more opportunities within their districts to learn, grow and prepare for these critical roles, and, when given support and guidance, district leaders can design and develop systems that make this possible.

Join us for a conversation on June 9 at 10AM with three district leaders who have made this work a priority as part of their involvement with the Holdsworth Leadership Collaborative:

  • Dr. Roland Hernandez, Superintendent, Corpus Christi ISD
  • Dr. Walter Jackson, Superintendent, La Porte ISD
  • Dr. Hedith Sauceda-Upshaw, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching & Learning, Conroe ISD
Looking for a new opportunity?
Leadership opportunities available:
Take a look at who’s hiring:
National News
Research Shows Heavy Toll on Survivors of School Shootings
As Uvalde copes with tragedy, studies show that children exposed to violence at school suffer academically and psychologically

Community members in Uvalde are still absorbing the loss of 19 children and two teachers after the killings at Robb Elementary School. But they will soon face a pressing issue: What awaits young people who survived the horror? 

It’s a question that has been asked in Columbine, Newtown, Parkland, and elsewhere. And as the number of tragic episodes has climbed in recent decades, it has increasingly drawn the attention of experts studying the effects of trauma on students’ wellbeing.

How 1 million more teachers of color can transform American education
Our nation’s education system is at an inflection point. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended traditional teaching structures, exposing and exacerbating pervasive inequities in our schools. Teachers are leaving the workforce in droves. And, let’s face it, the pressures on teachers during the pandemic has dissuaded potential new teachers from entering the profession. 

This is not to impart doom. On the contrary, we have a prime opportunity for a reset in our education system — one that will uplift all students and create a stronger workforce for decades to come. 

Glendening: STEM Fields Are Booming. Open Them Up to Girls, Students of Color
Closing racial and income disparities in STEM education starts with early childhood and must continue through K-12

“We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist, using technologies that haven’t been invented, in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.”

Twenty years after former Secretary of Education Richard Riley spoke these words, the need for qualified professionals in science, technology, engineering and mathematics continues to grow as the nation confronts global health, climate and security challenges that require innovative solutions to save lives.

The ‘superpowers’ of Miguel Cardona
For U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, his Puerto Rican background is more alive than ever.

In 1992, Miguel Cardona was in high school at Wilcox Technical School, in Connecticut, and dreamed of building a career as an artist and illustrator. He was so good and dedicated that the Record-Journal newspaper in Meriden did a two-page interview to review the mural he was working on in support of racial and cultural diversity and migration. For the background of the piece, Miguel painted the flag of the United States. Above the flag, he outlined a group of people of Asian, African American, Arab, American and Latino backgrounds. Above the painting, he added a slogan that reads: “In America, there is Only One Race…The Human Race.”

Chicago student films tell stories about pandemic life, racial justice. It ‘rewrites our narrative.’
A montage of Benito Juarez Community Academy school photos flashes across the screen as a voiceover of a student discusses how life has changed since the start of the pandemic: “It’s like a whole different world we had to go through.”

Another student reveals: “I became disassociated with the world that I had lived in.” A third describes becoming more civically engaged following the murder of George Floyd: “I’m more socially aware of how things are.”

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!
Securly is the end-to-end student safety and device management platform for K–12. Our 360º approach touches every aspect of the learning experience—from filtering to device management to self-harm detection.

  • In schools, IT administrators get simple implementation and a single dashboard to manage their networks and 1:1 devices.
  • Educators get tools to keep students productive and on-task in the classroom.
  • Counselors get insight into the mental health of their students.
  • Superintendents get data to make better decisions for the future of their districts.
  • And at home, parents get control and peace of mind—with full visibility into their childrens’ activities on school-issued devices.

We are a team of parents, educators, and technologists. We recognize the challenges IT administrators and educators face each day. By empowering those who serve students, we can foster safe and focused learning environments, while keeping students healthy and engaged.

Always connected, always protected.

Contact: Nick Schmidt