May 2019 - Guillermo Medina

Colorado Association of Latino/a Administrators and Superintendents

May 2019

Welcome to the CO ALAS Membership Spotlight.  Each month we introduce you to one of our many CO ALAS members. Let’s see what they are doing and what’s on their mind!

This month we are featuring Guillermo Medina, Principal, Escuela Bilingüe Pioneer Elementary, Boulder Valley School District.

Career Highlights & Education

This is my thirty first year as an educator. During this time, I have been recognized for my work to fostering inclusive environments for students with diverse needs and my work with migrant families. During my time in the Poudre School District I received the Excellence in Education Award for my work as a second grade teacher. Now in the Boulder School Valley I received the Principal of the Year (Colorado Association of Bilingual Educators or CABE), I was in the Superintendent’s Honor Roll, and now, the CO-ALAS Board has honored me by naming me the Colorado Latino Administrator of the Year. Part of this award includes the CO-ALAS nomination for the Leaders in Education Latinx Administrator of the Year. Which to my surprise, I have received. I highlight these accolades because they have all come unexpectedly and thanks to the kindness of my colleagues, my students and their parents.

I was born in Venezuela and came to the United States when I was still a teenager to learn English. Thanks to my parents’ sacrifice, I was able to stay and receive my B.A. from the University of Northern Colorado in Special Education. Later, I received my Masters in Special Education and Principal Endorsement from Colorado State University. My biggest ‘in the job’ mentors and influences have been my supervisors, colleagues and the many exceptional teachers that have taught me everything that I know about leading, teaching and learning.

What is exciting about my job?
Any school administrator reading this will attest to the following comment: “Our job is anything but boring!” What brings me the greatest joy, even after 32 years, are the small moments when I feel like I have helped move the dial for a student or for my school community. Today, for instance, I felt like I really connected with Omar. That kept me going.

What advice would you give a new superintendent or school leader?
Even though you are very busy, give yourself the time to find out what is really going on before judging the situation. I also found that going to the proverbial balcony, when things get tough, buys you enough time to breathe and fairly evaluate the situation.

If you catch me outside the office, you’ll find . . .

You’ll find me with my family and friends. They mean everything to me.

How does CO-ALAS add value?
I am not someone who often goes to conferences or does much beyond the school walls. I honestly do not feel that I have the time considering how much we have on our plate and many conferences did not seem to relate to my daily reality. This has not been the case when I started going to the CO-ALAS conference. It feels good to be surrounded by colleagues that look like me and who also want to positively influence all students, but in particular, students who are traditionally underserved. I believe that considering our political context that there has never been a better time for the Latino leadership to unite. CO-ALAS is the place or space where we can connect and organize.

CO-ALAS is a professional education association that advocates for the continued development and placement of Latino/Latina administrators who are committed to quality public education for all students.


PO Box 13109
Denver, CO 80201