January 2015 Member Spotlight - Dr. Miguel Pérez

Dr. Miguel Pérez,
Superintendent, Jim Hogg County ISD
Hebbronville, TX
ALAS Superintendents Leadership Academy (SLA) Alumnni

Career Highlights & Education:One of my education highlights includes being the first in my family to attend a tertiary educational institution in the US as a first generation college goer; I was blessed with the opportunity to successfully complete and receive a Doctor of Education. I have a BBA from Texas State University, M.Ed. from Sam Houston State University, Ed.D. from Texas Southern University and I am an M.B.A. candidate at Baylor University. I am also very fortunate to have diverse educational experiences working in urban, suburban, private and rural school districts. Lastly, my mother is also very proud of my most recent accomplishment of becoming a Superintendent as I reach a decade in education; this achievement was in part due to the preparation of ALAS as a graduate of the SLA Cohort III.

What I like best about my job isOh my goodness! There are so many admirable aspects of the Superintendency that I enjoy, however, I love the fact that as a Superintendent, I have the ability to mold and inspire a passionately engaged faculty as I seek to promote phenomenal performance and explosive academic and social growth in the students that I serve.

The best advice I’ve ever received is:  About eight years ago, a woman told me, “You need to approach each day of work like it was your first day!” I recall, my first day as a teacher, I was so happy that I got a job; I was eager to get started; I was ready to make a difference; and most importantly, I was full of joy! This advice has really resonated with me, and I believe that this approach has really propelled me to be successful throughout my professional career leading up to the Superintendency. Today, I strive to reflect on seeking to become the best me everyday in everything that I do. The woman that gave me those words of wisdom is now my wife and my better half.

Advice you would give a new superintendent or school system leader:  As a 21st century educational leader seeking to lead positive change, I challenge you to “keep your thoughts positive, because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive, because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive, because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive, because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive, because your values become your destiny!” (Gold, 2002). Being deliberate about your abundance approach will create positive deviance in the day-to-day interactions with the people that you lead.

If I ever snuck out of work early, I could probably be found: When I sneak out of my office early, I typically go home, read, relax, take a nap and spend time with my kids and wife before realizing that I have an entire evening full of afternoon school functions that I have to attend like going to all of the extra-curricular and district events scheduled all year long. Ironically, the idea of sneaking out early is nearly non-existent!

People would be surprised to know that:  As an advocate of Latino children, people would be surprised to know that I actually left public education for three years to become the highest-ranking Latino in the largest private school system in Texas. During that time, I also became the first young Latino to run for a school board position in a public school district where a rapidly changing student minority population (Latino children) is becoming the majority; equitable and excellence policies and practices for these children are non-existent in this district.

One thing I wish more people knew about ALAS is:  People need to know that ALAS is an incubator of success! The organization actively seeks to create irreversible momentum at the national level as they continue to advocate and plant seeds of hope, confidence, and leadership for a sustainable future for the Latino children of America.