Latinas Leading Schools

Edited by:
Melissa A Martinez, Texas State University
Sylvia Méndez-Morse, Texas Tech University

A volume in the series: Hispanics in Education and Administration. Editor(s): Frank Hernandez, Texas Christian University. Elizabeth T. Murakami, University of North Texas. Leslie Gonzales, Michigan State University.

Published 2021

As the first scholarly book of its kind, this edited volume brings together educational leadership scholars and practitioners from across the country whose research focuses on the unique contributions and struggles that Latinas across the diaspora face while leading in schools and districts. The limited though growing scholarship on Latina administrators indicates their assets, particularly those rooted in their sociocultural, linguistic, and racial/ethnic backgrounds, their cultura, are undervalued in research and practice (Hernandez & Murakami, 2016; Martinez, Rivera, & Marquez, 2019; Mendez-Morse, 2000; Mendez-Morse, Murakami, Byrne-Jimenez, & Hernandez, 2015). At the same time, Latina administrators have reported challenges related to: isolation (Hernandez & Murakami, 2016), a lack of mentoring (Mendez-Morse, 2004), resistance from those who expect a more linear, hierarchical form of leadership (Gonzales, Ulloa, & Munoz, 2016), balancing varying professional and personal roles and aspirations (Murakami-Ramalho, 2008), as well as racism, sexism, and ageism (Bagula, 2016; Martinez, Marquez, Cantu, & Rocha, 2016).

The impetus for this book is to acknowledge, explore, theorize, and expand our understanding of how Latinas’ success as school and district leaders is informed by such gifts, including their prioritizing of familia and communidad, relationship building, reciprocity, and advocacy, in the face of such challenges. Thus, this volume covers four topical areas: 1) Testimonies and reflections from the field/Testimonios y reflexiones del campo, 2) Leading in relationship, comadrismo, with and for community/Liderazgo en relación, comadrismo, con y para la omunidad, 3) School community leaders(hip)/Lider(azgo) escolar y comunitario 4) Learning from the experiences of others/Aprendiendo de las experiencias de otras.

Dedications. Why Latina School Leaders? An Introduction to This Needed Book, Sylvia Méndez-Morse and Melissa A. Martinez. Belonging and Being Enough, Fabiola Bagula. Latina Leading: Un Testimonio Toward Self-Love, María L. Gabriel. Uncharted Territory: Latinas as Elected School Board Members, Tatiana Joseph. Coraje y Amor: Cultivating Leadership Through Cultural Intuition, Rebeca Burciaga and Ana Tavares. Un Cafecito: Three Afro-Latina Leaders Speak Their Truth, Mónica Byrne-Jiménez and Wellinthon García. From Community to Schools to Community: A Latina Educational Leader’s Social Justice Trajectory, Elizabeth Gil. Echando Pa’lante With Mentoring Networks: Latinas Being and Becoming Community School Leaders, Sandra Quiñones and Anne Marie FitzGerald. “I’m Going to Show Them That I Can Do This... Con Más Ganas!” The Educational Journeys of Latina Principals, Christina Díaz. Latinas Overcoming Challenges to Become School Leaders, Tatiana Morales Owens and Sandra L. Harris. Taking a Leap of Faith: Latinas Gaining Access to the Superintendency, Sonia Rodriguez. Building a Purposefully Inclusive Future for Latinas in School Leadership: Una Jornada Continua de Esperanza, Lucha y Triunfo, Melissa A. Martinez and Sylvia Méndez-Morse. Contributing Authors.