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December 2022 - Manny Gonzalez

Colorado Association of Latino/a Administrators and Superintendents LA LUZ DE LIDERAZO - A MEMBERSHIP SPOTLIGHT December 2022

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 Manny Gonzalez, Equity and Engagement Coordinator for Adams 12 Five Star Schools in Thronton, CO. Manny shares his professional career and current bio below. You can read the diverse experiences that have led to his various leadership roles. One of our shining stars!

Career Highlights & EducationCurrently, I am serving as the Equity and Engagement Coordinator for Adams County Five Star Schools where I am leading and supporting the development and implementation of a Comprehensive District Equity Framework, as well as coordinating systems and structures that lead and ensure equitable outcomes for all students. I have had the opportunity to sustain a high-level of success as a professional in a multitude of public sector and nonprofit industries. From federal corrections to the classroom, developing educational programs for kids, as well as, serving as a secondary and central office administrator. I have earned a reputation for leading leaders to meet the challenges of complex systems within the public education sector. I am known to have a particular skill-set aimed at exposing deficit systems, policies, and practices, as well as a resolute commitment to maximizing the cultural capital already inherent within disenfranchised communities. My strategic work is complemented by the unique combination of my undergraduate and graduate level work in Political Science, Public Policy and Educational Administration.

What is exciting about my job? Today, the greatest civil rights issue facing our nation is playing out in the classroom. The conditions are prime for social justice and education reform, and time for our communities to lead the way towards Inclusive Excellence for all citizens, by remaining tied to a common goal, ensuring that every child within the borders of our communities has the chance to be proud of who they are and be academically successful in the process of self-actualization. This is what excites me about my job, I am able to compel a vision around equity and inspire others to be bold in taking a position around doing right by our communities.

Words from a consejero/a. “Take the time to make the right decision so you don’t have to go back and make your decision right.” Advice you would give a new superintendent or school leader: Dear ‘New School Leader,’ You are set to serve in one of the most challenging positions one can hold in public education. I have two core values that I would love to share with you–Truth (I believe in the power of “being real” to actualize systemic clarity) and Humanity (I fundamentally believe in the people that do the work in the systems we serve; I believe in being a “meaning maker” and meeting people where they are (will, skill, capacity & knowledge; this core value builds systemic confidence). As a school leader you will chase many moving targets and be asked to make difficult decisions that will ultimately affect the lives of kids and adults. Saying all that to say, when you are faced with all the challenges and put in a position to make difficult decisions–remember to go back to what you value…

If you catch me outside the office, you’ll find . . . Outside of the office I enjoy spending time with family and friends, cooking, traveling, and reading. How does CO-ALAS add value? CO-ALAS has added a tremendous amount of value to my life both personally and professionally. In this space I am inspired to aspire beyond what I sometimes think I'm capable of as a leader. I have become more confident and clear on the path I want to pursue and have welcomed the opportunities for growth.

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