Hablando de ellas: Experiences of Latina
K-12 Public School Administrators with
Race and Gender
Slides by: Sonia Tinoco
How Did Latinas Identify Themselves?
● All Latinas taking part in my study self-identified as highly-successful in their careers and
were are able to employ ethnic and gender-derived characteristics to positively influence
their everyday leadership practice and style despite the challenges that they face. I was able
to conclude this by the findings and conclusions of this article.
● Mixed methods approach that included:
○ 30 survey responses
○ 4 interviews with two public school principals and two assistant principals in the state of Florida,
● I gathered information from Latina administrators of varied ethnicities, including Puerto Rican,
Guatemalan, and Venezuelan.
● Their ages and leadership experiences varied, ranging from 29-62 years of age and 1-26 years of
educational leadership experience.
1. Discrimination on the basis of race during the screening, selection, and interview
2. Negative perceptions by colleagues due to the already low numbers of Latinas in
3. A perceived teacher, administrator, and community preference for white
administrators, for instance.
● Despite the many race and gender-related challenges faced, Latinas self-identified as
highly-successful in their careers and were are able to employ ethnic and gender-derived
● Challenges heightened sense of cultural awareness.
● Gender-derived leadership characteristics indicated not stereotypical notions of Latina
behavior, but rather, characteristics which study participants stated, assisted them in their
roles as K-12 administrators.
● Educational administrator preparation programs and professional development coordinators
should develop opportunities for aspiring and practicing school leaders to examine their
own racial and gender biases and assumptions and reflect on the impact that held
assumptions may have on decision-making and leadership practices.
● There is a need to change the dominant narrative which is portraying and promoting public
school leadership as exclusive for persons of the majority culture. We need to help create a
● Creating an alternative narrative is key to helping young girls in the K-12 grade system build a sense
of appropriate identity.
● This could be done by:
○ Having either programs, clubs, or after school programs available that allow students to discuss
their common struggles.
○ Having more Latina role model figures in administration and in the public eye in general.
○ Having and all ethnic and gender empowering assembly and activities implicated in the school
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