OALA News - December 2020

Welcome familia! Here is the latest and updates on our work

President's message - Sarita Amaya

Dear OALA Familia,

I find it hard to believe we are already in December! As 2020 begins to come to a close, this is an opportunity for reflection, gratitude and appreciation. As I began to write this message, I found myself reflecting on last year at this time. We did not know about COVID-19, George Floyd, or reopening metrics. We had not yet purchased masks, transitioned to distance learning, or applied for unemployment benefits. We did not know we would need to evacuate because of wildfires, protect our loved ones by physically distancing ourselves, or participate in virtual teaching and learning. Just in 2020, we have experienced social unrest, political tension, a global pandemic, and natural disasters. Families in our communities have experienced financial crises, housing instability, and/or unemployment. This year has had more than its fair share of challenges.

And yet, when reflecting on the past few months, I am in awe of all that we have accomplished. The flexibility, resilience, and perseverance educational leaders, teachers, students, and families have shown amidst such challenging times is remarkable. We have launched the school year with comprehensive distance learning, learned ways to engage students at a distance, and strengthened connections with all whom we interact with. We have pushed ourselves to the limit, taken risks, often times not not knowing if our creatively innovative ideas will actually work out. Sometimes they have worked out, and sometimes they haven't, and that is worth celebrating. There is no roadmap or published guide on how to handle everything that is happening in our lives right now. We can only strive to wake up every morning and do our best and expect the same from our families, students and staff.

I feel so honored to be a part of OALA - a space where we challenge one another to achieve greatness, hold one another to high expectations; AND look out for, advocate for and take care of each other. I am grateful for this community of passionate and dedicated educational leaders committed to inspiring excellence in all children regardless of the context. Our mission and vision does not change, even when our circumstances do. While nearly everything may look different than it did a year ago, we have and will continue to support, prioritize and promote educational equity for all students.

As the new year draws closer, I encourage you to reflect on the past year. While there is so much work to accomplish in pursuit of a more just and peaceful world, there is so much to be thankful for. Wishing you all a safe, healthy and enjoyable holiday season.

Much love,


17th Annual Winter Conference UPDATE

We are proud to open registration for this year’s OALA Winter Conference to be held Friday and Saturday February 5th and 6th! This year’s conference theme is Cultivating a Collective Critical Consciousness.

We come together every year to learn from one another, reflect on our practice, celebrate accomplishments, and be reenergized in our work as educational leaders. While this year’s conference will be virtual, our commitment to bringing everyone together remains the same!

We have a responsibility to the children and young people we serve to deepen our understanding of self, the world and the educational institutions we are a part of. It is imperative that we continue to explore the ways in which our actions as educators maintain and/or challenge cultural hegemony in the spaces we interact with and influence.

Let’s also be ready to move into action - to lead boldly - in ways that disrupt dominant narratives and systems of oppression. The time is now!

This year, we’ve decided to mix things up a bit. Instead of offering a handful of workshops, we are proud to announce that we will have three phenomenal and inspirational keynote speakers.

Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz will deliver the morning keynote address

Dr. Jamila Lyiscott will deliver the mid-morning keynote

Dr. Bettina Love will deliver the afternoon keynote address.

Breakout sessions will follow each address facilitated by OALA Aspiring Administrator Cohort Members. The breakout sessions will be opportunities for conference participants to reflect on the messages delivered by the keynotes and discuss ways to embed the lessons into practice.

This is a conference you don’t want to miss!

Registration for Individual Participants will be LIVE Friday, December 11, 2020

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Tentative Conference Schedule

Friday, February 5th

Panel 4:30-5:30

President’s Reception 5:30-6:30

Saturday, February 6th

17th Annual OALA Winter Conference 9:00-2:00

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz

Dr. Jamila Layiscott

Dr. Bettina Love

Affinity Groups 2:00-3:00

Linking Latina Leaders

Connecting Compadres

2021 Distinguished Latinx Educator & Tom Ruhl Ally Award Nomination

The Oregon Association of Latino Administrators is soliciting nominations for the Distinguished Latinx Educator Award and for the Tom Ruhl OALA Ally Award.

The DLEA award will be presented to a Latinx educator who has exhibited leadership in educational administration and has implemented strategies or activities aligned with OALA’s mission, purpose and goals in their district or institution.

The Ally of OALA award will be presented to a Latinx or non-Latinx educator who has exhibited leadership in the areas of equity and cultural competence. This leader will have implemented strategies or activities aligned with OALA’s mission, purpose and goals in their district or institution.

Individuals may not nominate themselves.

All nominees must meet the following requirements:

Educators who have demonstrated leadership by:

  • Mentoring Latinx educators into education and administration.

  • Serving as a role model for aspiring administrators.

  • Serving the Latinx community through active involvement in addressing critical Latinx issues.

  • Modeling cultural competency and a focus on equity.

Do you have someone in mind to nominate for the 2021 OALA Distinguished Latinx Educator Award or the Tom Ruhl OALA Ally Award? Submit the nomination form along with a statement of no more than two typewritten pages including the name and position of the nominee and how their leadership demonstrates the selection criteria for the award! Nominations are due December 28, 2020!

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Career opportunities

Make sure to check out COSA's job page: https://www.cosa.k12.or.us/jobs/admin

OALA's job page: https://www.oala.info/p/Latino-Administrators-Oregon-Job-Postings-p56.asp

Updates from ALAS (National affiliate)

Their website https://www.alasedu.org

Click on their homepage and see a new page of resources that they have vetted and in connection with our corporate partners.

Subscribe to ALAS newsletters:


Member Highlight - Carlos Perez (Retired, Asst Superintendent, Hillsboro School District)

Carlos Perez has had a tremendous influence on many of us in OALA. His cool, calm, and intentional demeanor provides us with great wisdom, yet instills in us confidence, security, and drive.

His mentorship as an OALA founding member and his continued work with the Aspiring Administrator Leadership Program, shows us his dedication, commitment, and passion in investing in the future in every single one of us. It is our job to do the same for others, as Carlos has done for us!

“Carlos has been my mentor since before starting in administration. I couldn’t have asked for a wiser, funnier, or more “down” mentor.”--Perla Rodriguez, Principal

“Carlos has opened doors for so many of us. He has challenged us, supported us, and has always kept it real.” Arturo Lomeli, Executive Director

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The vision of OALA is to create a forum for Latino Administrators and educational leaders that promotes equity in leadership positions throughout the state of Oregon