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September 2021 - Manuel Montano

Colorado Association of Latino/a Administrators and Superintendents


September 2021

September 2021 - Manuel Montano

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 Manuel Montano, Elmentary Principal in the Sierra Grande School District.

Manuel 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 & Education

I started my career as an elementary teacher 20 years ago. I taught 5th grade for 6 years and then decided to try my hand teaching middle school. I taught Middle School Science for 8 years. It was while I was teaching middle school that I began to think about becoming an administrator. 6 years ago, I got the opportunity to become an Elementary Principal at Sierra Grande in Blanca, Colorado.

I became a teacher to make a positive impact on youth. I did not always have the best teachers growing up and decided that I would make sure that any student that I taught would be treated fairly and get the best education I could give them.

As an administrator, I have worked hard to change the culture of our school. I wanted to change the perception of what the principal’s office is. We have worked hard learning how to be Social Emotional teachers, build relationships first and everything else will fall into place. We have built a great team at Sierra Grande and we work together for our students.

I also work with the Colorado Health Foundation in building equity for our students. I love being a voice for our Hispanic youth and making sure that their voices are heard as well.

I have a BA in Elementary Education and Spanish, and Masters in Education, Administration and Supervision. Look forward to working on my Doctorate Degree in the near future.

What is exciting about my job? There is never a dull moment as a principal. I enjoy being the difference maker in someone’s life. It could be a student or a teacher. Bringing people together for a common goal and seeing those goals workout is the ultimate high. I love being out in the action of the school, seeing kids thrive and flourish and teachers being the best they can be makes my job worthwhile. Words from a consejero/a: Çan nomaccah in nix in noyollo inic ni nouatzaz. anoço inic ninocueponaltiz

Es sólo por mi mano, por mi rostro, mi corazón, mi espíritu Que o me marchite, o me haga florecer, Me convertiré como tierra verde, como tierra cultivada Voy a germinar, voy a brotar.

It is only by my hand, by my face, my heart, my spirit that either I will wither, or I will bloom, I will become as green land, as tilled earth I will germinate, I will sprout.

Advice you would give a new superintendent or school leader: Don’t be afraid to step in it. I would never ask my staff to do anything that I myself wouldn’t do. Build positive relationships with staff and students, be a leader not a boss.

If you catch me outside the office, you’ll find . . . Me with my family on an adventure or on a trail putting in miles of running. I enjoy being outside and running races.

How does CO-ALAS add value? Gives you an opportunity to make connections and collaborate with people who have the same goals and identity as you.


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