Graduate School Education Associate Professor Julie Esparza Brown has earned the Oregon Association of Latino Administrators (OALA) 2016 Distinguished Latino Educator award. The award is given to a Latino 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.”
Brown, an associate professor in Special Education, is a tireless educator and advocate for second-language learners. She is the originator of the award-winning Bilingual Special Education (BiSPED) Program, a five-year grant-funded program that prepares bilingual/bicultural special education teachers who are uniquely skilled to differentiate English learners who may be struggling due to language differences rather than disabilities.
In 2001, she was named the director of the Bilingual Teacher Pathway program, an award-winning program that identifies bilingual classroom assistants and supports their entry and completion of teacher licensure. Through this program, more than 300 PSU bilingual teacher alumni are now working in schools throughout the region.
“It is difficult to measure the impact of her work, but her legacy in Oregon education is one of an educator who will stand by us and help us through our moments of uncertainty,” said Marisol Jimenez, ELL, Migrant Education and Equity coordinator at Northwest Regional Education Service District. “We are honored to have Dr. Brown as a colleague and friend and she is well deserving of recognition for changing the color of teachers in Oregon.”
In June 2015, Brown was elected to the Portland Public Schools (PPS) board. PPS is one of the largest school districts in the Pacific Northwest, with 49,000 students, 44.1 percent nonwhite.