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Opinion: It’s time for EPISD to have a Mexican American woman as superintendent

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By Hilda Villegas

The El Paso Independent School District is selecting a new superintendent, and the community should know that EPISD has never hired a women permanent superintendent. 

In public education, women are predominantly always on the frontlines. In the classroom as teachers and in the homes as mothers, we show up for our children. 

Yet, those in power are often men with male privilege who spend their career reconstructing the ideology of public education with little to no concern for the ramifications their decisions have in classrooms and communities. 

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EPISD should not be run like a corporation. Children should be the priority. 

Further, it is important to ensure that the civil rights of Mexican American immigrant parents and students are not violated. EPISD and its leadership have for far too long ignored this community and pretended like our struggles do not exist when they should be developing comprehensive creative programs to address the issues that English-language learners — immigrant children in the barrio — struggle with every day. 

EPISD has never hired a Mexican American woman superintendent, claiming that there’s a lack of Latinas in Texas who have obtained a superintendent certificate. Yet EPISD waived the superintendent certification requirement for its most recent hire, a man.

EPISD needs a leader with a solid background in education, so that students come first. We need a superintendent who understands the Spanish speaking community and is willing to develop a system that is inclusive of meaningful input from Mexican American and immigrant parents.

Given the history we have had with the previous superintendents, EPISD should break the cycle of only hiring men and they should finally consider a Mexican American woman for the position. 

Hilda Villegas is a member of Familias Unidas del Chamizal.

Cover photo: Parents and community members attend a meeting at Bowie High School on Oct. 26 to discuss EPISD’s superintendent search. Several attendees were critical of past leadership, including former Superintendent Juan Cabrera. (Corrie Boudreaux/El Paso Matters)