From the Desk of the IALAS President
January President’s Message
We have officially made it to 2021. We have had many tribulations in 2020 but we did not allow these to stop us or derail our mission. We embarked in all becoming first year teachers as we learned how to engage our students remotely. We discovered that the phrase, “we are in this together” truly is a fact. We learned from one another, appreciated each other’s crafts and began to work as teams because of love of our careers, the passion for teaching and learning and resilience that learning loss would not happen under our watches if we could help it. Bottom line we put our children first.
Now that 2021 is here and we are smarter and no longer first year teachers it is time to push the rigor in our classrooms and tighten the best practices we learned from one another. We are still learners and will continue to innovate. Soon the vaccine will be provided to all of us and our children will be in our schools once more. Let us not forget what we learned from each other, what we heard from our families/communities and especially our children. As an IALAS member, you are not alone in making sure greatness prevails. The inequities that have always been there need to be addressed and we must advocate because we are educators. We are IALAS familia and we are equitable leaders.
A huge accomplishment this past year is the appointment of our new Secretary of Education, Dr. Miguel Cardona. ALAS, which has more than 7,000 members in 23 states, sent a letter to President-elect Joe Biden earlier this week supporting the nomination of Dr. Cardona, who currently serves as Connecticut’s Commissioner of Education. He is also a member of the Connecticut Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents. He acknowledges the “ongoing crisis” in our schools and gaps that were always there but heightened with the pandemic. He understands what it means to be a bilingual and bicultural student and leader. He sees bilingualism as an asset rather than a deficit. He is an advocate for empowering Latinas in leadership. As IALAS members, it is welcoming to see his passion about education acknowledged and that he will be a leader with the qualifications and experience to address the needs of our children and support for educators.
We look forward to continuing to learn from one another and for this reason there are two upcoming events where this can occur:
The first is the National ALAS Conclave on January 20, 2021 @ 2:00 pm - January 21, 2021 @ 6:30 pm. If interested please register here.
You can also join us at our IALAS 2021 Conclave and Mixer on January 30, 2021. The Conclave will be from 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Our theme this year will mirror the theme of National ALAS: Language, Literacy, and Numeracy: Mitigating Learning Loss. It would be great to have you present and share your expertise. During this pandemic, we have all become learners and experts. Your voice is one we need to hear during the conclave. Please save the date and we will see you there. The conclave is free to members and $20 for non-members. Do not hesitate to get your proposal in to us by Monday, January 11, 2021. Proposal Form should be submitted to Maria Burgos at: firstname.lastname@example.org and/or Mary Kassir at: email@example.com. Please don't hesitate to contact any IALAS Board member for any questions.
If you want to join us for the after set at our mixer this will begin at 6:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Those joining can register to receive spirits at a price to be delivered to your home as you party with us virtually.
Finally, let’s make this year, 2021, a great one. Focus on the little things, the wins in education, the collaboration and planning, the informed data that guides us in the right direction, the laughter, the feedback that makes us stronger and smarter and the graduations of our children and perhaps our own. Spread your wings with pride! 2021 is a year for you to soar!! Adelante Familia.
Dr. Elizabeth Alvarez
The Illinois Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (IALAS) commits to provide authentic, high-quality learning opportunities for students by building capacity among Latinx-serving educational leaders and by advocating for responsive, informed policy development.
To unify and cultivate educational leaders, serving Latinx communities, for the purpose of promoting equity & empowering all students.