Education Program Administrator
Department of Human Services
What is your favorite book?
This is an impossible question to answer. I honestly cannot think of just one book as my favorite. Everything written by Jhumpa Lahiri is beyond anything a mere mortal can write. The Long Night of White Chickens by Francisco Goldman fed my soul after I came back to the states after living in Nicaragua. I remember finishing The Cider House Rules by John Irving and wanting to immediately re-read it. I didn’t want the characters to be out of my life. Anything by Roald Dahl is magic and entertaining even in my “adult/serious” years. I also remember the first two times I read Beloved by Toni Morrison. The first time I read it, I was 16 years old and didn’t know what I just read. Ten years later, I read it again and was just floored by its power. It made me realize that good books are so much more than just the words. Your soul has to be ready for the message, too.
Who was your favorite teacher?
Hands down, Mrs. Durst. I don’t think I ever knew her first name. She was my fourth grade teacher at Southwest Elementary School and the first person to tell me I was smart. When I was asked what grade I wanted to teach when I was part of Teach For America in Houston ISD, I picked fourth grade. Unconsciously, I think I did it to honor her. I also realized how wonderful she was. I used to talk a LOT (still do) and she would subtly redirect me without making me feel like I was doing something wrong or a bad kid. I didn’t realize what she was doing that until I took classroom management classes as an adult.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
Undoubtedly, my proudest accomplishment was realizing my educational goals. I always knew I wanted to get a least a Master’s degree and I accomplished that. I’ve always been on the fence if I wanted to get a Ph.D.
What is your favorite thing about your career?
Since I had to overcome a lot of personal and financial barriers to get my undergraduate and graduate degrees, I feel truly blessed to be able to help others realize their educational goals.
Why is education in SAISD important to you?
I live, work and play in SAISD borders. I truly believe education is the key to almost every community indicator we want to improve: health, employment, income, happiness. Getting it “right” here in the heart of San Antonio is what will ensure San Antonio is ready for the future and continues to be a great place to live.