Reinstate Nancy Padilla as English Dpt. Chair
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This is an open letter from students of Alhambra High School to the District Administration, Board of Education, and also Principal Duane Russell,
In this time of celebrating graduation, it is important to recognize the teachers that have played an integral role in our accomplishments and commencement as future leaders. Thank you for those teachers who have shown us the knowledge and expediency to have gained the guidance to what we have become.
We would like to acknowledge Ms. Nancy Padilla. Through her 11 years of experience as an AHS educator, she has pioneered several programs to reach access to resources, leadership, opportunities, and preparation, for our future success. Her passion for students has allowed her to impact the lives of AHS alumni, current students, and, we are positive, future students to come.
Strong leadership within the English Department is the most imperative on our preparation as future leaders and agents for meaningful change. Which is why we would like to stand by her side during a debunked Department Chair Election.
English Department Chair Elections for the upcoming 2018-2019 school year were conducted twice.
(1) “First; Election” was considered faulty as a result of Mr. Russell being present during the election that is traditionally held by the English Department. (2) “Second; Election” following normal procedure, resulted in Ms. Padilla’s win. (3) Mr. Russell chose to interview candidates in addition to the second election. His persistence to not be transparent and not allow his instructors, who have first hand experience teaching and engaging in the English Department to have the autonomy to select a candidate who was capable of the position. Administration ultimately made a decision which did not reflect the result and of the election of the English Department Chair, and stripped Ms. Nancy Padilla from her deserved position.
Demand for Action:
Integrity is a value shared by Alhambra Unified and staff, should be a continued practice in all Alhambra Unified elections.
- Our community deserves an education which is taken seriously, and has truly deserving impacts on others.
- Our community deserves transparent, credible, and fair elections for specifically the person who has been elected Department Chairs.
- Our community deserves a person like Ms. Nancy Padilla, who has given her earned right to head the English Department at Alhambra High School.
Qualifications of Ms. Nancy Padilla to lead the English Department Chair:
In reference to Michelle Obama, “The ability to read, write, and analyze: the confidence to stand up and demand justice and equality; the qualifications and connections to get your foot in that door and take your seat at that table – all of that starts with education.” Ms. Padilla has been engaged on campus and has worked proactively to enact change where it is necessary in advancing the success of students who never believed had the opportunity to believe they could.
Nancy Padilla has never faltered in any obstacles she has been given. For example:
Nancy Padilla has advocated for students to have a voice on their issues between their interactions with administration during WASC visitations. Nancy encouraged students to have the confidence to speak their truth and be leaders during conversations with WASC members, as a result, students were able to have productive conversations with WASC members. Students must take charge of their education and hold officials responsible when there is a lack of communication and/or leadership. WASC, granted Alhambra High School with a 6th-year accreditation, for not only demonstrating for a low economic status school can do but what they can become.
School Site Council
Nancy Padilla oversees School Site Council’s distribution of Title 1 funds to facilitate programs and resources to underrepresented minorities and to lessen the achievement gap. In addition, she has organized and mobilized students to participate as student stakeholders to discuss the items within the WASC agenda. She has also promoted the LCAP survey to parents as well as administering the AP Ambassadors survey in order to figure out what resources are needed to facilitate the education of the students, especially the minority population.
As a coordinator of the certificated SAT base testing site, at Alhambra High School, she has developed and implemented the administration of a strategic administration process to procure the most consistent means for students to have the opportunity to gain comfort to their access in their SAT process. It has only been administered at Alhambra High School for the past three years. This was a proactive response to students not having access to transportation to take the SAT at further locations and therefore forfeiting their right to take the exam. Our process is to make students passionate about making SAT resources accessible to students.
AP Ambassadors Program
Ms. Padilla spearheaded the AP Ambassadors program at Alhambra High School as a proactive leader in the defense of the lack of diversity in the Associated Student Body. The objective of the AP Ambassadors program, in which is to create a space where students can represent scholarship, be models for students, provide mentorship, and challenge themselves. She created a student-led organization that has expanded their presence at Alhambra High School.
The AP Ambassadors have provided translation services on campus events, online access to tutoring services, and recruitmentment to assist parents with financial aid. The program also leads a mentorship program in which partners upperclassmen, with lower classmen, have the opportunity, not only to work with the AP Ambassadors in the Writing Lab, but additionally have the great resource of the Writing Lab.
Ms. Padilla, who has reached out to Dr. Robert Land, a professor from California State University Los Angeles to implement a Writing Lab, which allows for Alhambra High School students to access CSULA student interns, and professors, to provide all subject tutoring sessions. She meets with the interns to exchange ideas and research to actively gain skills. The Writing Lab has been a great resource to students, especially during the college application process. We have had access to interns reviewing essays and enhancing our skillset. She has also worked diligently to keep the funding towards the Writing Lab constant by allocating funds as an integral part of School Site Council.
AP English Language/Literature Teacher
Ms. Padilla teaches AP English Language and Composition, but has grown the program including expanded Honors sections. She has been invited by the CollegeBoard to be an AP reader over the past six years. As a result she works with professors and teachers from all over the globe.
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