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October 2015 Member Spotlight - Dr. Danna Diaz

Dr. Danna Diaz,
Superintendent,

San Juan Island School District
ALAS SLA Alumni, Cohort I
Harbor, WA

Career Highlights & Education: Humbly starting out her career as a bilingual teacher back in 1987, she received her Associates in General Studies from Central Texas College and Bachelors of Science from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. She obtained her Masters of Science degree, Mid-Management and Superintendent Certifications from the University of Houston-Clear Lake and her Doctorate of Philosophy in Educational Administration from The University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Danna Diaz has served the interest of public schools spanning 4 decades in various positions in both large and small school systems. Her administrative career includes 20 years as an Administrator in twelve districts in four states - Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida and Washington. In addition, for all the years she tirelessly worked her way through the ranks, her proudest moment includes two Teacher of the Year awards earning the respect of her peers and high level administrators.

What I like best about my jobI love my work and for this reason I do not work a day in my life. I wake up every morning know I am going to a make a difference in the lives of students, families, staff and the community.

The best advice I’ve ever received is:  Follow Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements: Be Impeccable With Your Word; Don't Take Anything Personally; Don't Make Assumptions; Always Do Your Best.

Advice you would give a new superintendent or school system leader: Immerse yourself in the community and learn how you may better serve students and families.

If I ever snuck out of work early, I could probably be found: Taking a nap. My grandmother taught me at a young age to take naps; she said, “You will live a long life. Your body needs rest!”

People would be surprised to know that:  I am a cyclist and yogi. I have completed six MS 150 Bike tours from Houston to Austin and continue to ride my road bike or stationary bike two or three times a week. I practice yoga every day. I actually love Bikram Hot Yoga!! I am also married to a Canadian and we have a home in British Columbia. We travel there often and I practice Bikram in Port Coquitlam, BC.

One thing I wish more people knew about ALAS is:  When I was a doctoral student, I attended the 2003 ALAS organizing meeting in Albuquerque. I showed up because there was a need for me to find likeminded people that worked in the same profession. As a Latina, the glass ceiling is my reality and I have experienced and seen how low the glass ceiling is for Latinas. I believe that ALAS may have the potential to grow and be inclusive of all Latin@ cultures, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Panamanians, Columbians, and the list goes on! Latin@s are the fastest growing population in this country and we should unite and include everyone, especially women, to ensure we raise each other up. We may have the potential to be a powerful organization not only at a national level but internationally too.