ALAS Announces Leaders in Education Award Recipients-April 6, 2018

  • Posted on: 6 April 2018

Contact:  Dr. Nancy Lewin, Executive Director, (202) 466-0808 or


Awards to be presented at 4th Annual Gala on April 25, at 6:00 p.m. at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—April 6, 2018—The Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) will recognize school district superintendents and administrators from across the nation at its fourth annual Leaders in Education Awards Gala, to be held April 25, 2018, in Washington, D.C.

Numerous education professionals, congressional representatives, and business leaders will attend the event at the Mexican Cultural Institute to celebrate best practices in public education, particularly in serving Hispanic populations. ALAS state affiliate members nominated superintendents and administrators whose work exemplifies the best in the field.

Following are the 2018 ALAS Leaders in Education Award winners:

Latino/a Superintendent of the Year

Dr. Lily Matos DeBlieux
Pendergast District
Phoenix, AZ



Hispanic-Serving School District Superintendent of the Year

Tom Boasberg
Denver Public Schools
Denver, CO



Latino/a Administrator of the Year

Dr. Alexis F. Marrero
Assistant Superintendent
East Ramapo Central School District
Spring Valley, NY



Hispanic-Serving School District Administrator of the Year

Maria Burgos
English Learners Director
Cicero School District 99
Cicero, IL




The Gala and awards ceremony will be held following a day-long Legislative Assembly. The Legislative Assembly brings together leaders in education and policy to discuss innovative solutions to the challenges facing school districts and the students they serve. Participants will also visit Capitol Hill to discuss with members of Congress and key policymakers issues affecting their districts.

This year, the Assembly intends to place special emphasis on school safety and security and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, which allows some immigrants who entered the country as minors to have deportation action deferred. There are almost 9,000 teachers in the DACA program who will not be able to teach if it is rescinded. This would create an even more serious teacher shortage than the one the nation already face.

The Legislative Assembly is part of a larger initiative designed to bring a collective voice to national education issues, particularly those that impact Latino students and educators. While the high school drop-out rate of Hispanics has fallen, it still surpasses that of white, black and Asian students. About one-third of the U.S. Latino population is under the age of 18, making a focus on their educational attainment a priority for ALAS.

“It is such a pleasure to recognize and honor the educators who work tirelessly to serve all of our Latino youth,” said Dr. Nancy Lewin, ALAS executive director. “Their efforts are making a significant difference in their communities by creating better educational opportunities for all students. They are truly dedicated leaders.”

Following are the 2018 ALAS Leaders in Education Awards nominees:

Roberto Padilla
Newburgh Enlarged City School District
Newburgh, NY

Dr. Miguel Cardona
Assistant Supertintendent for Teaching-Learning
Meriden Public Schools
Meriden, CT

Mary McNeil
District Superintendent
Needles Unified School District
Needles, CA

Gina Rivas
Arvada High School
Arvada, CO

Eulalia Valdez
Director of English Learners
Oswego Community Unit School District
Oswego, IL

Don Rangel
Superintendent of Schools
Weld County School District RE-1
Gilcrest, CO

Dr. David Negron
Maywood-Melrose Park-Broadview District 89
Melrose Park, IL

Ana Ortiz
Oxford Public Schools
Oxford, CT