Mayra Perez, a deputy superintendent of San Rafael City Schools, is a winner of North Bay Business Journal's 2018 Latino Business Leadership Awards.
Education: BA in Psychology; masters in educational policy and administration, Ed.D. in teacher education
Tell us your story and that of your organization: San Rafael City Schools (SRCS) provides an education to students in grades K-12. SRCS includes San Rafael Elementary School District and the San Rafael High School District, with a total student population of more than 7,200 students. The two districts are governed by one school board and one district administration.
The Elementary District is comprised of nine schools. The High School District provides secondary education to student residing in two elementary districts: Dixie School District and San Rafael Elementary District. The High School District has two comprehensive 9-12 high schools and a continuation high school.
SRCS schools have successfully created welcoming school environments to ensure that our community of students, families, staff and community members are treated respectfully and consider themselves true partners in the work of educating our students.
Is there a major accomplishment in the past year or so that you would like to share?
In the last year the Education Services Team has worked diligently to create a cohesive and aligned professional development plan for teachers. Instructional Coaches and teacher leaders have offered over 80 in ongoing professional development for teachers. The team has also developed a three year professional development plan that includes high impact strategies for supporting the development of academic language for English learners and Writer’s Workshop to strengthen student writing fluency and written communication skills. Teachers are also participating in math workshops to explicitly engage in the Standards for Mathematical Practice. This alignment and focus is often difficult to achieve with so many schools. I am appreciative of this accomplishment and am proud of my team!
What is the achievement you are most proud of?
In SRCS we administer a reading assessment, Fountas and Pinell to all students three times a year. This assessment involves each teacher reading individually with a student to determine the reading level of the child. Students are also expected to answer comprehension questions and it takes 30 to 45 minutes to administer. We have studied the results over the past four years of the Fountas and Pinnell assessment and have discovered that each year more students are moving towards proficient and advanced reading levels. It is also evident that the students needing the most support in reading are receiving it and making progress. This progress has everything to do with the efforts of our instructional coaches, our talented teachers and the support staff at Central Services.
What is your biggest challenge today?
Although we have made progress in many areas we have an opportunity gap that continues to persist in our community. We must dig deep and study our data in order to understand why some students are not making progress. Our leaders need to develop a plan to meet the needs of these students and support them on their educational journey.
As a successful professional, what were the biggest obstacles you faced and how did you overcome them?
I consider myself a leader for equity and an advocate for underrepresented students. Providing every students with what they need can be an extremely unpopular notion.
A few years ago, I made decisions and implemented programs which provided differentiated support to a historically underserved Latino community.
Deputy Superintendent, Instruction, Innovation and Social Justice
San Rafael City Schools
310 Nova Albion Way, San Rafael