September 2017 - Dr. Bianca Gallegos

Colorado Association of Latino/a Administrators and Superintendents
LA LUZ DE LIDERAZGO - A MEMBERSHIP SPOTLIGHT
 
September 2017



Welcome to the CO ALAS “Membership Spotlight.”  Each month we want to introduce you to one of our many CO ALAS members. Let’s see what they are doing and what’s on their mind.

This month we are featuring Dr. Bianca Gallegos, Principal at Columbine Elementary School, BVSD

Career Highlights and Education:
Dr. Bianca Gallegos has dedicated her career to students in the Boulder Valley School District.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder.  She received her Master of Education from Regis University and earned her Doctorate in Education for Executive Leadership with a focus on Equity from the University of Colorado at Denver.

Dr. Gallegos is passionate about serving students in the Boulder Valley School District and she herself is a BVSD alum; she attended Columbine, Casey and Boulder High. Dr. Gallegos is very connected to the Columbine community and feels very fortunate to be able to come full circle in her position as the Principal at Columbine.

What is so exciting about my job?
I feel so fortunate to serve my community as the principal of the same school I attended as a child.  I feel very connected to the community and I love seeing such brilliant bilingual students continue to develop their passion for learning.  It is an honor to serve as a role model for students because many of our students see themselves in me as we share Spanish as our first language, have similar backgrounds, and share our Latino culture.  I enjoy finding ways to further nurture and expand our students’ strengths, interests, and build upon their cultural and linguistic capital. The most exciting part of my job is that every day is different and I get to spend time with amazing students and a talented staff!

Words from a consejera
As educators, we are always taking care of others and working really hard to meet the needs of our students.  It is important to commit to having a balance in your work and personal life.  Take the time to take care of yourself, because when we are happy and healthy, we are more effective educators and leaders.

Advice I would give a new superintendent or school leader?
Continuously talk with students, teachers and families to find out what is most important to them.  Learn what barriers are in their way and find ways to remove those barriers to help students reach their short term goals and their long term dreams.

About me
I enjoy spending time with my family.  My husband Andres and I have two wonderful sons, Carlo who is 10 and Gabriel who is 5. Our boys are my world, my most important and favorite job is to be their mother.  My husband is from a small island in the Mexican Caribbean called Isla Mujeres, we take our boys there twice per year to visit family and friends.  This is important to us because our boys practice their Spanish, dance, swim, snorkel, eat fresh seafood, eat traditional foods from the Yucatán Peninsula and have fun with their primos. When we are on the island, they learn amazing lessons from Isleños that they can't learn at school.

I enjoy cooking the dishes my grandmothers used to cook. Nothing is measured or written down, everything is made by tasting the food as you go and often improvised depending on what you have in your kitchen. My paternal grandmother was from New Mexico, and her ancestors were Mexicans who lived in NM before the Treaty of Guadalupe de Hidalgo when places like NM, CA, CO, AZ were Mexican territory. My paternal grandmother, Amelia, taught me how to make flour tortillas, pinto beans, green chile, potatoes with carne molida, mac and cheese casserole and lots more. Now I'm getting hungry!  My maternal abuelita, Plácida, was from Oaxaca and grew up in the Coast of Mexico. As a child, she lived in the jungle in homes that her father would construct in one day. My abuelita taught me how to make tortillas de maíz, frijoles negros, mole, chiles jalapeños rellenos, arroz con pollo, panuchos, flautas, empanadas, enchiladas verdes, arroz con leche, flan and aguas frescas.  

I loved hearing stories and dichos from my grandmothers. When we brought my abuelita to Colorado to live with us, my two abuelitas became very close friends and called each other sisters.  They were both super women, feminists and the matriarchs of large families. My grandmother Amelia had 13 kids of her own but raised 17 kids total. My abuelita Plácida had 5 kids of her own but raised 4 of her grandchildren and 2 of her great grandchildren.  I miss them all the time and carry their lessons in my heart.  

My parents and family play an important role in helping raise our children.  My mother and I are best friends. She is a fierce and nurturing woman, an excellent Spanish and Dance Teacher.  My father is a retired Migrant Workers' Rights State Monitor Advocate, he worked the fields as a kid.

If someone catches me outside the office, they’ll find . . .
If someone catches me outside of the office, they’ll find me doing some of the things that I enjoy the most! I love to dance! Salsa, hip hop, bachata, cumbia, merengue, Mexican folklore, swing, R&B, country. I'll dance anytime, everywhere. I also like to sing but only in my car if I am by myself.

I really enjoy reading books by Latina authors because I can relate to the stories.  A few of my favorite Latina Authors are Sandra Cisneros and Isabel Allende. Their stories are beautifully written and pull you in completely.

How does CO ALAS add value?
I love being a CO ALAS member! The collective capital we have as Latina leaders is phenomenal.  Together, we can make the most impact in the lives of our students and show everyone how brilliant Latino students are.  One of my favorite things about being a CO ALAS member is networking with other leaders and attending the wonderful conferences.

Thank you for stopping by and reading about me.  If you would like to contact me, my email address is bianca.gallegos@bvsd.org I enjoy collaborating with others and finding ways to network for the purpose of better serving our students and their families.

CO-ALAS is a professional education association that advocates for the continued development and placement of Latino/Latina administrators who are committed to quality public education for all students.

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