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February 28, 2013

Host: José Cárdenas

Nosotras Program and Arizona Hispanic School Administrators Association (AHSAA)

  |   Video
  • In 1989, a group of Latino educators founded the Arizona Hispanic School Administrators Association. The organization has led the way in developing aspiring Latino school administrators. The Nosotras program prepares Latinos to lead districts as superintendents. President of AHSAA and Superintendent of the Phoenix Elementary School District, Dr. Myriam Roa, and Principal at J.B. Sutton Elementary School in the Isaac Elementary School District and Nosotras Program Founder, Dr. Juliet M. Carrion, discuss the AHSSA and the Nosotras program Visit the website today!
  • Dr. Myriam Roa - President of AHSAA, Superintendent of Phoenix Elementary School District
  • Dr. Juliet M. Carrion - Principal of J.B. Sutton Elementary School in Isaac Elementary School District, Nosotras Program Founder
Category: Education   |   Keywords: children, education, latinos, ,

View Transcript
Jose Cardenas: Thank you for joining us. The Arizona Hispanic school administrators association, AHSAA, was founded by a group of Latino educators in 1989. One objective is to develop Latino school administrators. Nosotras is a program preparing Latinas to lead districts as superintendents. Joining me to talk about AHSAA mission and the Nosotras program are Dr. Myriam Roa, president of AHSAA and president of the Phoenix Elementary School District. Also here is Dr. Juliet Carrion, principal at JV Sutton Elementary School in the Isaac Elementary School District in Pheonix. Dr. Carrion is also the founder of the Nosotras program. Welcome to both of you. Thank you for joining us. Let's start first Dr. Roa with a description of AHSAA, and what the mission was and is.

Dr. Myriam Roa: The AHSAA association of Hispanic School Administrators has an interesting beginning. My understanding is that this idea that we wanted to support aspiring administrators, Latinas, to become administrators, we had to raise the money to help them go back to school to get their certificate. Dr. Jacob Chavez, senior, sold a steer from his rancho so we could raise money through a raffle for our first set of scholarships. From those humble beginnings we now have an organization that meets once a year for a robust conference. Our mission is to promote equity and excellence for all students in Arizona and to focus on issues with students and minorities, students in poverty, certainly welcome all administrators who will serve these populations.

Jose Cardenas: Let's talk about the conferences and then about how you address some of the issues. These are once a year. How many attendees do you have?

Dr. Myriam Roa: Every year we get bigger. We certainly like to see at least 100, but we exceeded our goal and got close to 200 this year. Typically somewhere between 100 and 200 attendees. That doesn't include all of the ancillary activities where we have students performing and share and networking activities with vendors. The actual attendees that go to the workshops, about 200.

Jose Cardenas: What do they learn?

Dr. Myriam Roa: We have different sessions. It might be interviewing techniques if you're going to aspire to be a principal or assistant principal or district office or superintendent for a business services. We have different sessions for different interests on what to look for or when you're searching for that job as administrator. Certainly the latest in what are effective educational practices for, for instance, English language learners and what model we would like to promote to have the students achieve the goals of becoming proficient in English. There's always something new on the horizon with legislation affecting the students so we talk about that.

Dr. Myriam Roa: I know one of the new things on your horizon is the Nosotras program that you started. As I understand it arose out of your dissertation. You have your book here. Tell us about it. What was the focus and how did that lead to the creation of Nosotras?

Dr. Juliet Carrion: The title is, “Latinos as Superintendents: Voices From the Field Hope for the Future.” It all stems from the dirt of representation of Latina superintendents in Arizona. At the time of my study there were five Latina leaders that participated in the study, and there was only one that was actually in the superintendencey.

Jose Cardenas: So as part of your study did you identify issues or concerns that perhaps make it more difficult for Latinas in particular to achieve those positions?

Dr. Juliet Carrion: Absolutely. The two that stood out were gender and ethnicity were challenges for the participants in my study. They shared their stories with principals at the time. There were 12 that participated. These five Latina leaders from the district level shared their stories of their challenges that they faced.

Jose Cardenas: Give us an example of some of the challenges.

Dr. Juliet Carrion: They were dealing with just being a female, how difficult it was to get their foot in the door into a central office type position. That was an example.

Jose Cardenas: Is there anything peculiar to Latinas, to Hispanics in general, that makes it more difficult to ascend the administrative ladder?

Dr. Juliet Carrion: Ethnicity in itself just having brown skin, that was according to the research, gender and ethnicity made it difficult to be considered for a position. To really begin to look at that person and whether or not she had the skill set to be in that role.

Jose Cardenas: You did your dissertation in 2009.

Dr. Juliet Carrion: That's when I defended, yes.

Jose Cardenas: This led to Nosotras. Tell was that is.

Dr. Juliet Carrion: It's --

Jose Cardenas: Meaning us.

Dr. Juliet Carrion: Yes. Means we. Female gender. It resulted from my doctoral work and I'm very appreciative of the doctor who supported me, took me under his wing after I presented to the AHSAA organization about my research, and so when you say founder, I feel like we co-founded this workshop because he truly helped us to be able to support the workshop.

Jose Cardenas: What do participants get out of the workshop? What's the format? How do they benefit?

Dr. Juliet Carrion: We offer various professional development training. For example, how to have difficult conversations in our leadership positions, how to analyze our data be our student achievement, looking at our budget, how we're going to spend our money wisely. And also like Dr. Roa mentioned, interviewing techniques and how to prepare for that next higher level position.

Jose Cardenas: Dr. Roa, you and I were talking off camera, one of the things that your organization does is raise money to provide scholarships that help people obtain these additional skills and credentials. Talk about that.

Dr. Myriam Roa: Well, the last couple of years we went from having a $5,000 scholarship awarded to nominees that were a program or wanted to be in a program to get their master's or doctorate. Typically we have one from the southern region of Arizona and one from the middle and northern parts of Arizona. So this year we were able to offer more. I believe that we have two from each, the north and the south of Arizona, so as we raised the money for the scholarships our purpose is to get it back out again, so the more successful we are with getting our networks and sponsorship and our golf tournament to raise the money the more scholarships we want to offer. What that does is provide sort of a springboard for an administrator to have the credentials that are required typically to apply for a higher level job in administration.

Jose Cardenas: So part of it is expanding the pool of people eligible for those positions.

Dr. Myriam Roa: Yes. We call it building capacity for administrators.

Jose Cardenas: Also through programs such as Nosotras you're giving them the skills to really be successful.

Dr. Myriam Roa: Yes. I was honored to be one of the participants of the Nosotras workshop to talk to potentially Latina superintendents. When someone comes up and says, you really made a difference making me feel like I could do it too, it's something I could pursue because certainly it is possible from showing up and saying yes, I'm a Latina and I'm a superintendent and you can do it too.

Jose Cardenas: Dr. Carrion, you have had that experience from your own experiences you know that you're serving as a role model to other people who may not otherwise have thought this was within their reach.

Dr. Juliet Carrion: Absolutely. Leading a school and working with teachers, I have had teachers come to me and say that, wow, they have really been inspired just watching me walk in my shoes and lead a school. I have children looking at me and I can just tell by their faces that they can't believe that a Hispanic woman, someone that mirrors them, is actually the school principal. So I get very excited about inspiring others, motivating others like Dr. Roa stated, and to help encourage women to move up to that higher level position so that they too can also be role models for our children because we have very few in the superintendency. I believe the number is about of 220 superintendents 220 there are only roughly 20.

Jose Cardenas: We're delighted you were able to talk to us. Thank you.

Show Your Love

  |   Video
  • Show Your Love is a campaign designed to improve the health of women and babies by promoting preconception health and healthcare. Office Chief for Women's Health at Arizona Department of Health Services, Toni Means, talks about the campaign. Visit the website
  • Toni Means - Office Chief for Women's Health, Arizona Department of Health Services
Category: Medical/Health   |   Keywords: women, health, love, ,

View Transcript
In Tucson the border with Mexico is often on the minds of residents, but in realty it's 70 miles away. However, in places like Nogales, Douglas and Naco, the distance to the border is not measured in miles but often in feet. Residents of Cochise County recently gathered in Douglas to listen to government auditors and others about the effectiveness of the border patrol. After the presentation, not everyone was impressed.

Same line of speech they have been for 20 years, nothing ever changes.

On southern Arizona ranches and in border towns, the border and immigrants be they legal or illegal are part of daily life. Sue cents grew up ranching in Cochise County. Two years ago her husband rob was killed on their ranch. Some speculated that the murderer was an illegal border crosser, but today authorities have not named a suspect, so there is no definitive answer for that. Despite that incident, she still understands the polite of the border crosser.

We understand that it's cold out there and they might be hungry. We understand that. In fact we have one guy that, you know, he finally got his papers. He buys liquid seeds and owns property up here by the hospital. His kids went to Cochise college.

dealing with illegal border crossers on private land causes problems for landowners when it comes to jurisdiction.

what happens is the sheriff's department can't come and help you if you have illegals on your property. You have to call the border patrol. So if the border patrol is stressed and the sheriff can't help you, what do you do?

Arizona residents who can see Mexico from their yards have mixed feelings about the border patrol. They won't want agents necessarily traversing their property however they do want the illegal crossings dealt with.

The border patrol is not on border. It's like always somebody else's fault.

We still have a long way to go, but this bipartisan blueprint is a major breakthrough.

the many gracious reform legislation proposed by a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators includes a role for border residents. It says the legislation will create a committee of local officials and bored are residents to monitor the progress of securing our border and to make a recommendation regarding when the bill's security measures outlined in the legislation are completed. So in the eyes of those who live on the bored wear does a secure border look like?

My home has been burglarized multiple times. I have had vehicles stolen. Cash, guns. My neighbors murdered. I have -- there's more dope today than three years ago. When that goes away the bored letter be secure.

it's my honor to introduce Congressman Ron Barber. [applause]

Southern Arizona Congressman Ron Barber was holding town halls in places as members of the Senate were introducing their reform plan. He was there to listen to border residents and says input from them is critical.

I agree that we need to have stakeholders helping define not just define but tell us when we have made progress. In addition I want the Department of Homeland Security to be able to say what they have done to implement more secure bored were the billions of dollars they have been given over the last several years.

for some the definition of a secure border is a simple one.

We as American citizens and people in Arizona deserve to live free and safe on our own property in our own homes.

the fight over immigration reform and border security are just beginning the nation's capitol. It was 2007 the last time Congress tried to pass an immigration reform bill. At the time it had the backing of powerful leaders from both sides of the political aisle including Senator John Mccain and the late Senator Edward Kennedy, as well as president George W. Bush. That proposal failed. NO VIDEO

Jose Cardenas: Show your love is a national initiative to educate women and couples on the importance of pre-conception health. We'll talk to the chief of women's health in a moment. First here's a video showing one aspect of the show your love campaign.

Video: Me have another baby? I'm not ready. No. I'm making sure to use birth control correctly until Juan and I are ready for more children. I have machine hands full with Rosa. She's 17 months old and really active. The doctor said we should wait at least 18 months before getting pregnant again but I would like to wait a little longer. My doctor reminded me I needed to take good care of myself so I can keep up with her. He told me to keep eating healthy and stay physically active and take a multi-vitamin with folic acid every day. He said don't smoke or use illegal drugs and no more than one alcohol drink a day. But I know when we start trying to get pregnant again I can't drink alcohol at all. I have diabetes and need to keep my blood sugar under control, especially before getting pregnant again. If I don't, it can affect my health and the health of my next baby. So I make regular doctor visits so keep a close watch on that. Rosa gets her vaccinations and so do I. I want to be as healthy I can so I can keep up with this little one. [speaking in foreign language] for more information about your pre-conception health and steps you can take, talk with your doctor and learn more at this website. It's important for you and your family.

Jose Cardenas: And joining me to talk about the show your love campaign and what is being done in Arizona is Toni Means, Office Chief For Arizona Department of Health Services. Welcome to Horizonte.

Toni Means: Thanks for having me.

Jose Cardenas: We have heard for years how critically important prenatal health care is. Why this emphasis going further?

Toni Means: Prenatal care is important. It gives doctors an opportunity to detect and treat any problems early in the pregnancy. But what we know is that the mother's health long before she even thinks she might become pregnant is more important because any birth defects or problems occur in the fourth to 10th week of gestation. For a lot of women they are not even aware that they are pregnant. So if she's healthy before she thinks she will have a baby she has a better chance of having a healthier baby. In addition, if you get nine months of prenatal care are not enough to undo a lifetime of poor health decisions, so if she comes into the pregnancy smoking, the child could be born smaller. Especially if she continues to smoke. So the mother's health is critically important to helping improve birth out comes. Every low birth weight or health problem won't be eliminated but it will be reduced as moms become healthier as they enter pregnancy.

Jose Cardenas: Tell us about this particular initiative. It's being promoted by the Centers for Disease Control. How are they then coordinating with people at the state level such as yourself?

Toni Means: The CDC has a consumer work group. Different representatives from various states serve on the group. Participated in the development of the campaign. It's now our job then to take that information and to get it out to our constituents, our citizens, so that they can increase awareness about pre-conception health in our own state. The campaign is supposed last at least through May. We'll tweak it based on how it's received in our state, and then they will launch again in 2014.

Jose Cardenas: What will your department do in particular to help promote this campaign?

Toni Means: Well, we promote pre-conception health and have for about five years with a pre-conception health task force we have Arizona materials, media website targeting african-americans, and we will also work with our partners on getting information and the products available through the show your love to different counties and different individuals who work with women of child bearing age.

Jose Cardenas: How does this particular program from the federal government assist your efforts as you noted?

Toni Means: It's actually really great. We now have a unified message where each state before was developing their own campaign. They are good campaigns. But we now have a national recognition if someone sees as logo for pre-conception health hopefully they will understand what that is. In addition they provide us with resources we can share such as posters, radio PSAs, pod casts, video you just saw there, then health check lists so women can identify any health issues that they may need to address before they get pregnant.

Jose Cardenas: I have seen others that were shown to me. This one was bilingual.

Toni Means: right.

Jose Cardenas: Are there any Spanish materials for monolingual Spanish speak centers.

Toni Means: Each are available, one for consume the, one for a single woman who does not want to become pregnant, one for just any woman, then the one you just saw. Each are available in Spanish or English. In addition, the check lists will be available in Spanish as well, and the department is going to translate some of the posters into Spanish.

Jose Cardenas: Why would it be important for somebody who isn't planning to become pregnant to pay attention to this? I assume there are things that happen, but are you really going to be communicating with them? Are they going to be paying attention?

Toni Means: The campaign has two messages. One is show your love to your baby before it's born by becoming healthy yourself. The other message for those like you refer to saying I'm not having a child is show your love because it enhances your life and you can fulfill your dreams and wishes. The reality too is about half of pregnancies aren't planned, so if you go into a pregnancy even though it's unplanned as healthy as possible you increase the chances of having a healthier baby.

Jose Cardenas: We talked off camera, and we noted this program is aimed particularly at women but you said your department also makes efforts to educate men about the importance of their health in terms of pro creation.

Toni Means: Men have an important role in terms of they can assist the woman becoming healthy. One of the videos shows the man walking with the woman to encourage her and meeting with the doctor to talk about their family health issues. Their health behaviors, studies show if men smoke, do drugs it can affect the quality and mobility of their sperm. In addition depending on their career field, if they work in mines, if they work with car batteries, radiators, a number of fields where they use toxic chemicals, if the man comes into the home without removing his clothes prior to going in he can bring the expose his children as well as his wife to those chemicals, which can be harmful.

Jose Cardenas: We're almost out of time. We had the website address on the screen a moment ago. What kinds of things will people find there that would be of help in dealing with these issues?

Toni Means: They will find checklists, information for men and women, about what they can do to become healthy. Pre-conception health is a general wellness approach so that it talks about nutrition, physical activity, mental wellness, and domestic abuse in terms of what you can do to improve your health over all. There's a number of resources for men and women at the site.

Jose Cardenas: Also bilingual?

Toni Means: Yes.

Jose Cardenas: Thank you so much for coming on our show to discuss this important program. We'll have you back to discuss it as the campaign goes on.

Toni Means: Thanks for helping spread the message.

Jose Cardenas: That is our show for tonight. From all of us at Horizonte, I'm Jose Cardenas. Have a good evening.