The stories of our family members help remind us of the sacrifices made that help bring us together for a common purpose in educating and serving our youth. We honor our future generations by carrying out the legacy of those who have gone before us. We honor our young people and our elders through our humble spirit, through our positive dispositions, and through taking pride in success.
I’ve experienced how our system can stack the deck against folks who are already struggling to get by, making it nearly impossible to ever escape the conditions that confine and shatter them. I’ve made it my life’s work to help open doors, windows, and other crevices of hope for those burdened by the failures of systemic injustice. I came to realize over time that I could be an agent of change; that I had capacity and untapped potential to make a difference for those who feel disenfranchised.
People label others all the time. Labeling is a tool we use to help us grapple with difference and with our environment. Our labels can also influence what we see. The long-term consequences of labeling a child “smart” or “slow” can be profound. Labels that have to do with ability, class, race, or skill often shape the expectations of educators and can have lasting effects.
The term ‘soup’ is also an abbreviated play on words for my present job title, “supt.”. I currently serve as the superintendent of the Casa Grande School District. In this role, I have the opportunity to set the tone for the teachers, staff members, students, and families. I get to focus on their happiness, fulfillment, and success. I am able to build confidence and create a learning environment where all feel a sense of belonging and connection.