August 2017 Member Spotlight - Dr. Michael J. Ramirez

Dr. Michael J. Ramirez
HS Cadre Director, Office of School Performance and Accountability (OSPA), Broward County Public Schools, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; ALAS Superintendents Leadership Academy Cohort V Alum 

Career Highlights & Education: 
I have served in private and public education for over 22 years as a teacher, coach, athletic director, and administrator.  For the past 14 years, I have served in Broward County Public Schools as a high school teacher, assistant principal, principal and district administrator. I currently serve as a Cadre Director in the Office of School Performance & Accountability where I supervise the traditional high schools in our school district. I am truly blessed to have found a career that has allowed me to develop my passion for students and people.  My greatest pride and sense of accomplishment comes from serving others in a way that is genuine and real, while staying true to my core values of honor, respect and equity for all. I believe that my role as a Latino leader is to ensure that I present myself as a positive role model for educators, students, parents and the community, challenging and inspiring them to make a difference each and every day.

What I like best about my job: 
I enjoy the day to day relationships that I have with school leaders, teachers and students and the opportunity this position affords me to influence the educational experience for all stakeholders in our school district. I see the daily challenges that present themselves as opportunities to self-reflect in how we serve our school communities. Most of all, I enjoy seeing thoughts and ideas become district-wide initiatives that create opportunities for students to engage in school and develop their own passions. I believe in our students and know that they bring amazing talents to our classrooms each and every day.  We just need to provide the stage for them to display those talents and shine.

The best advice I’ve ever received:
Be Quick to Listen and Slow to Speak.  As a servant-leader, it is paramount that we listen with our eyes and truly hear what people are saying if we are going to make a difference in this work. Many times as leaders, we are quick to provide a response or a solution to a situation however, if we take the time to truly listen, it allows for a much better response or solution while letting those we serve feel valued and heard.

Advice you would give a new central office/school leader:
As you lead, remember the journey to where you are and never forget what it was like at each of those stages.  As you make decisions, remember what it was like being a student, teacher, coach, sponsor, assistant principal and the perspective you had.  Ultimately, the decisions we make should always be made in the best interest of students and those we serve.

If I ever snuck out of work early, I would probably be found: 
You would find me spending time with family and loved ones.  My family is my world and I am truly blessed to have an amazing support system with a beautiful wife, amazing parents, brothers and sisters who I absolutely adore.  I am thankful to God and beyond blessed for the family and friends I have in my life.
People would be surprised to know: 
That I am also a musician who played the saxophone in a Latin band.

One thing I wish more people knew about ALAS: 
I wish more people knew the familia that ALAS really is.  This organization connects us from coast-to-coast in the work we do in our school districts and gives us the platform to come together to support each other.  ALAS has allowed me to meet some incredible people that I now consider my "primos." My ALAS-SLA experience with my primos from Cohort V was amazing and I became a leader because of it. It allowed me to understand my role and responsibility as a Latino leader.  It is something that I encourage every aspiring district/system leader to be a part of.