Two GSE doctoral students win OALA Ally Awards

Two GSE students, who are also graduates of our education administration programs, were recognized by the Oregon Association of Latino Administrators (OALA) for their work supporting Latino/a students and educators in their districts. Sho Shigeoka, IAL ’11, is from the Beaverton School District, and Victor Vergara, BTP ’05, IAL ’12, is in Woodburn. They were honored, February 13, 2016, at the organization’s annual conference, held on the PSU campus for the first time.

Sho_ShigeokaAlumna Sho Shigeoka wins OALA Ally Award

The Oregon Association of Latino Administrators (OALA) has recognized GSE graduate Sho Shigeoka for their Ally Award. Shigeoka is a 2011 graduate of the Initial Administrator License program and a current GSE doctoral student. She works for Beaverton School District as the administrator for equity and inclusion.

The OALA Ally Award goes to an “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.”

Shigeoka was chosen for developing ongoing equity leadership teams at Beaverton that include all teachers, administrators, and classified and district office staff. She is the facilitator of the district’s Restorative Justice Training and provides support for LGBT staff and allies. She works throughout the district to provide support for all administrators to effectively work with diverse populations and has affected change for all students.

In 2012, Shigeoka was honored by the OALA with the Tom Ruhl Leadership for Equity award.

Beaverton School District is the third largest district in Oregon and has 49.2 percent students of color—most are Hispanic/Latino(a).

Victor VergaraAlumnus Victor Vergara wins OALA Ally Award

The (OALA) conference also recognized Victor Vergara. Vergara, who is also a current GSE doctoral student, received one of two Ally Awards for his work in the Woodburn School District, where he is principal of the Academy of International Studies, one of Woodburn’s small high schools.

The OALA Ally Award goes to an “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.”

“He has devoted his studies to issues that impact the success of Latina/o students, including completing a study of award-winning Latina/o leaders from the Pacific Northwest,” said IAL Professor Deborah Peterson, his doctoral advisor. “His unique perspective as a Latino immigrant and successful school leader contributes to the value of this research.”

Vergara, who in 2012 was named an Oregon Middle School Principal of the Year, takes an active role in developing future Latina/o leaders through his work in the OALA Mentoring Program.

The Woodburn School District has the highest population of Latino/a students of any district in Oregon and 100% of students qualify for free or reduced lunch. Woodburn is also tied for first place in Hispanic/Latino graduation rates.

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