My personal story begins with my family. I was born the youngest of seven children to a migrant farming family. My parents’ education did not extend past the third grade. Sadly, education was a luxury that was not a priority in our household. Today, when you ask my parents about their education they simply say, “We didn’t know.”
Today is a different day and I “do know”—in fact many of us “know.” We know that early childhood education has long been recognized as important in the development of a child. Ongoing research supports the difference a quality education and rich early childhood experience can make in a child’s development. It is for this reason, that I am proud to work with families to educate them on their educational options and ultimately help them find the best educational setting for their child.
My new role at New Frontiers Public Schools, a public charter school district that has served the south side of San Antonio for over 20 years, allows me to live my passion. We are a community-based, open enrollment, free public charter schools serving pre-K through 12th grade. We offer a collegiate pathway to and through college for our students by integrating high rigor, innovative and individualized strategies to meet the needs of all learners.
Through our partnership with Palo Alto College, the Frank L. Madla Early College High School offers a college immersion program where students are embedded in college courses with other college students. Our graduates earn both an associate degree and a distinguished high school diploma, all at no cost to their families.
In San Antonio, people are recognizing that we need to do more for our students, and calling for it through the Keep Learning, San Antonio campaign. We need to keep changing, continue to try new things, and give our kids the 21st century skills they need in changing world.
For far too long, our communities have been unaware of their educational choice. I am grateful to be able to concentrate my work on helping families find their educational fit so that they too will know.