TALAS E-newsletter – September 24

Posted on September 24th, 2020
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Texas News
Hispanic Heritage Profile – Dallas ISD’s David Ybarra: “We Grow By Helping Each Other”
David Ybarra is a supervisor in Dallas ISD’s Operation Services Division, leading a crew of 21 ground employees. His team is one of the many teams the District relies on to provide welcoming and safe learning environments at schools and other facilities.

Ybarra often encourages his team to feel pride in the work they are doing and their contribution to the district’s mission.

“We are responsible for creating neat, nicely kept landscaping areas that will create the first impression for schools,” Ybarra said. “I want the student, staff and parents to feel proud of the way their school looks, and I like to help make the campuses inviting and appealing.”

Ybarra also likes to help his work peers grow; he enjoys being the right leader for his team, like the leaders he found when he joined Dallas ISD.

Ysleta ISD names David Solis as new Central Office director
The Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) announced that it has appointed David Solis, former finance director at Tornillo ISD, as its new Director of Accounting and Payroll.

Solis began his professional career in 2004 as an accounting clerk, and went on to serve in various accounting positions in both the private and public sectors. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).

Ballet folklórico dance group of Bryan ISD showcase their Mexican culture
Baile Folklórico, a form of dance originated during the indigenous times in Mexico, but other countries have made important contributions to the dance as well.

Baile Folklórico is a traditional dance of celebration in Mexico that has been brought to the Brazos valley where people of all cultures have enjoyed watching the talented dancers from Bryan ISD.

Augustin Lara, a Spanish teacher at Neal Elementary, was born and raised in Mexico.

Dancing ballet folkórico as a child inspired him to pass on the tradition.
”I noticed that there were not any Hispanic celebrations or anything for the Hispanic community especially for kids,” said Augustin Lara, Director of Los Altos De Jaliscos Ballet Folklórico dance team and Spanish Professor at Neal Elementary.

Lake Houston area districts — Humble, Sheldon, Crosby, Huffman, New Caney — cautiously return to in-person learning
The novel coronavirus has drastically changed the plans for most school districts across the state.

In the Lake Houston area, which is serviced by Sheldon, Huffman, New Caney, Crosby and Humble ISDs, most districts are just getting back to in-person education. In July, the Texas Education Agency announced that schools would be able to have their first four weeks of school online and would then have to reopen for in person instruction. For districts in areas where there is a high level of community spread, delaying school was also an option, according to the TEA website.

Sheldon ISD started with virtual schooling for the first four weeks on Sept. 8, which will continue through Oct. 2.

Lockhart ISD creates free internet service to keep students connected
Sitting at a picnic table outside her rural Lockhart, Texas, home, sixth-grader Azul Cabrera says she has always loved to read.

“Reading is a big part of my life because when I’m frustrated or stressed I read a good book, and my troubles go away,” she said.

Shy and articulate, Azul seamlessly switches between speaking English at school and Spanish at home. She loves school and connecting to a world beyond Lockhart through books.

“When she’s in the car, she’s reading. When she’s in the house, she’s reading,” said her mother Ana. “When she’s outside, she’s reading.”

When in-person school was suspended in the spring, Lockhart ISD quickly shifted to an online learning model, but Azul’s family didn’t have reliable internet.

A Tiny School in Texas With a Cautionary COVID-19 Tale: Teachers, Epidemiologists Say San Antonio Campuses Need More Aggressive Plan to Prevent Virus Outbreaks
When tiny Mustard Seed Academy reported its first case of COVID-19 this summer, its leaders did what they were supposed to do: The infected teacher was told to stay home.

Mustard Seed also reported the case to San Antonio’s Metropolitan Health District, and as per instructions, the preschool didn’t reach out to any other families with children in the infected teacher’s class. The health district would do contact tracing, school officials were told.

But the health district’s directives fell short. A month later, as cases spread throughout the school and five teachers and seven students were infected with COVID-19, Mustard Seed officials had to take more drastic measures: The preschool shut down for two weeks.

A&M Launches Statewide Homework Hotline for pre-k-12 Students
Texas school children in need of homework help during the pandemic can now tap into the Aggie Homework Helpline.

The service is a big help for kids in school districts that don’t have homework help hotlines or tutors. It’s a way to provide assistance when in-person meetings might be off limits due to concerns about spreading COVID-19.

The hotline uses a secure Zoom phone number to offer up to an hour of homework tutoring. On the other end of the line are Aggie undergraduates who have been trained to provide tutoring support to students in grades pre-k through 12.

A North Texas Teacher Wanted a Superhero His Latino Students Could Relate to, so He Created One
Hector Rodriguez’s hit comic book series, El Peso Hero, is now set to become a film.

A group of migrants have been driven into the desert, locked in the back of an eighteen-wheeler, and left for dead. The air inside the truck starts to run out. They begin to panic. A baby stops breathing. A nurse desperately tries CPR, but she’s running out of time. Then a mysterious man rips the metal door apart with his bare hands, and everyone is saved. The migrants call him a hero, but he answers, in Spanish, that the only hero is the nurse who helps the baby start breathing again.

The same man brushes off a hail of bullets while preventing a cartel bloodbath in Nuevo Laredo. He even fights La Lechuza, the legendary creature of Tejano folklore whose leathery wings and razor-sharp claws have haunted nightmares for generations. In the face of a pandemic, the same man hands out protective masks to farmworkers, first responders, and delivery drivers; he even uses his super strength to push a truck that’s run out of gas, then carries a few boxes of watermelons so the farmworkers don’t fall behind.

Trailblazer goes from being one of few Latino students to dean at Baylor
A trailblazer at Baylor University went from being one of the only Latina students on campus to being the Dean of Student Development.

Walking around Baylor University’s campus, you see a diverse student body, but that wasn’t always the case.

“For me it was like being a fish out of water. I just thought nobody gets me, nobody understands me and there were a lot of stereotypes back then,” said Dr. Elizabeth “Liz” Palacios. Dr. Palacios is a first-generation college graduate. When she was an undergrad at Baylor, she says the campus only had a 1% or 2% minority student body.

“I was so ready to go back home for the first couple of weeks, go back to San Antonio, I just needed my gente, my family, my friends,” Dr. Palacios remembered.

But she didn’t give up. Now Dr. Palacios is a role model and leader at Baylor University.

TALAS panel at next week’s
TASA|TASB Virtual Convention, txEDCON2020
(September 29-October 2)
Session title: Leadership Development Is Critical for the Future of Texas
Primary Presenter: Ricardo Lopez
Presentation Format: Live
Presentation Date/time: October 1, 1:30–2:20 pm
Pre-registration is open through Tuesday, September 29.
Register and support TALAS today!
Looking for a new opportunity?
Career Advice
3 Strategies for Answering “What Are Your Salary Expectations?” in an Interview
When you’re in the middle of a job interview, a question like “What are your salary expectations?” can make you panic. You don’t want to say something too high and price yourself out of a job you want or need, and you don’t want to say something too low and end up not getting paid as much as you could or should be making.

Some of this concern is warranted. When career coach Joyel Crawford worked in recruiting, the main reason she asked about salary was to gauge a job candidate’s expectations relative to the budget allocated for the role. So unlike many other common interview questions, your response to “What is your desired salary?” could disqualify you from consideration for a job. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since you might not be able to accept or enjoy a job that doesn’t pay enough for you.

You might also be afraid that the interviewer will judge you harshly if you price yourself too high or too low, but that generally isn’t the goal. This question is more about finding a salary match, says Crawford, who is also host of the podcast Career View Mirror.

National News
A voice for the ‘excluded’ and ‘oppressed’: Latinos remember Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Hispanic leaders and organizations noted the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s focus on civil, voting and immigrants’ rights.

Latino civic and advocacy groups have joined in the outpouring of sympathy over the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The pioneering jurist died at her home in Washington on September 18 at 87. On the Court since 1993, Ginsburg was long a defender of the legal, civil, and constitutional rights of Latinos and immigrants.

How the Pandemic is Pressuring the Latino Success Story
The pandemic-induced recession is straining one of the economy’s biggest growth engines: the young, expanding Latino population.

Latino Americans work in every facet of the economy—from high tech to hotels, banking to burger stands. They’ve made inroads in college enrollment in recent years, leaving them poised to narrow the wealth gap with other Americans. And their numbers are growing steadily even as overall U.S. population growth stagnates, meaning that Latinos will play a starring role in the coming decades.

Groups urge Latinos, especially youth, to sign up to be bilingual poll workers
For “the people you encounter when you come to vote to look like you and be able to communicate with you,” reflects growing diversity, says Erica Soto Lamb from Power the Polls.

The national Mi Familia Vota organization has long been involved in voting rights issues and other matters of civic engagement, but this year it’s added a new initiative: Recruiting bilingual poll workers.

The Phoenix-based group is joining advocacy organizations, nonprofits and even businesses across the U.S. in trying to persuade younger people to work at polling places, especially those who are bilingual.

From the fields to the classroom: Inside the lives of U.S. agriculture’s youngest workers
The Aguilar sisters work in the fields 40 hours a week. They’re also high school students, doing homework when they can. Many nights they go without sleep.

It’s nearly 4 a.m. in this border town, where a group of day laborers wait under the fluorescent lights of a Chase bank parking lot to board several white school buses.

Leslie Aguilar, 15, looks on as her sister, Jimena, 17, boards one of the buses heading to a farm several miles away. This is the first time the sisters are not traveling together and Leslie is concerned.

Yo Quiero Dinero: Investing and the Latinx community
I started investing when I was 27 years old. The chief regret of my 20s is that it wasn’t earlier. The stock market’s dirty little secret is that the more time you spend in the market, the more likely you will make a profit in the market. Had I started earlier, I’d most likely have more dinero to my name.

If investing has fallen to the wayside in the dumpster fire that is 2020, I’m here to get it back on your radar. Yes, 2020 is a wild ride. Yes, there are plenty of places your money is needed right now. But investing is one of them, especially for Latinx communities.

The Return of the “Radionovelas,” A Bright Side of the Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the resurgence of one of the most important forms of entertainment in Latin America: radionovelas. In Colombia, this phenomenon had not been seen for more than three decades when, after a nationwide drought forced the Government to impose power cuts at night, families gathered between candle lights and the stories told by the broadcasters.

Fast forward thirty years, the pandemic has caused three essential shifts: first, people are spending a lot more time at home. Second, many cultural and artistic activities became just impossible because of the virus. Lastly, in many places in Latin America, people are returning to remote areas — either running away from the virus or just looking to be closer to their loved ones.

Our 10 favorite TED Talks by Hispanic and Latinx speakers to listen during Hispanic Heritage Month
For Hispanic Heritage month, The Mujerista partnered with TED to curate a list of our favorite TED Talks by Hispanic and Latinx speakers. TED brings together influential people to spread ideas and encourage conversations through powerful talks. For this list, we featured diverse ideas that range from identity and personal growth to government and immigration.

Las Tienditas
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