The California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators is continuing its quest to provide one-on-one support to Latino leaders and those who support Latino students through its successful Mentoring Program.
Entering its ninth year, the program is now headed by Socorro Shiels, a former ACSA intern and first-year mentoring protégé alumnus who was just named superintendent of Santa Rosa City Schools.
Shiels, who has been assistant superintendent of educational services at Morgan Hill USD since April of 2010, brings her knowledge of elementary and secondary education, as well as second language acquisition, to her position as Mentoring Program director. Actively involved with CALSA for nearly a decade, she said the association is a valuable support system for Latino educators.
“The professional support and friendships that I have be able to nurture in the organization are unparalleled,” she said. “From the conversations I have had with colleagues to the professional development sessions in which I have participated as both a protégé and a mentor, I have become a stronger administrator and I believe that is true for those who remain involved in the program and the organization as a whole.”
Shiels said the high number of Latino students in California demands proportional representation in teaching and administrative staff. The CALSA Mentoring Program helps support that quest.
“The diversity, and in particular Latino teachers and administrators, ensures that Latino students, like their Anglo counterparts, see role models and believe in themselves and their futures,” she said. “To ensure that Latino students are successful, we have to take specific actions as individuals and across our schools and districts. CALSA is committed to that end and is committed to supporting administrators in their pursuit of equity and excellence for all the students we serve.”
Shiels began her educational career as bilingual teacher in the Ravenswood SD in 1993. She went on to work as adjunct professor/lecturer at California State University, Sacramento; assistant principal in Pittsburg USD; principal in Morgan Hill USD; director of elementary education and director of multicultural education and secondary curriculum at Grant Joint Union SD; and program director, district and school support services at the Santa Clara COE. Earlier this year, she was appointed by the State Board of Education to the Instructional Quality Commission.
Shiels said she hopes to continue to grow the effect that the CALSA Mentoring Program has made on the careers of administrators who are making a daily impact on the education of Latino students.
“CALSA is an organization built on the involvement of its members, and I hope to be part of the team that grows the organization and finally and purposefully eliminates the achievement and opportunity gaps that exist in our public schools,” she said. “The CALSA mentoring program will continue to serve new Latino administrators as well as any administrator striving to best serve Latino students.”
For more information on the CALSA Mentoring Program, visit www.calsa.org/mentoring-program.