NEA/HC EXECUTIVE OFFICERS
Las Vegas, Nevada
I was born and raised in Mercedes, Texas. Yes, I am a native Texan! Mercedes is located near the Mexican border approximately 8 miles to the first border town of Las Flores, Mexico sometimes referred as Nuevo Progresso, Mexico. Mercedes is known as the heart of the Rio Grande Valley because it is located in the center of two of the best known major border towns, Brownsville and McAllen, Texas. My family is of Mexican and Spanish ancestry. I am the youngest of seven children. I am the first and only child in both of my parent’s family to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree, multiple Master’s Degrees and am in my 3rd year of work towards a Doctoral Degree. My father attended elementary school through the 6th grade and my mother attended up to 2ndgrade. After my father served in WWII as a chef in the US Navy my parents became Mexican Restaurant business owners. My parents taught me the value of an education at a very young age. I learned to read and write at the age of 4 in my own native language – Spanish. I am one of those students you read about who used to be hit, or punished in school for speaking Spanish. It is well documented in the annals of Texas history. I know what it is like to be in a segregated classroom, gymnasium, and business. I was raised to believe and know that hard work and going to school would be the key to a better life. I knew from the time I started Kindergarten that I would go to College because it was what my father would tell me each time I brought my report card home.
I attended the University of Texas Pan American in Edinburg, Texas for 2 years. I transferred to Texas Women’s University after having been recruited and awarded a scholarship. I graduated with my Bachelors Degree from Texas Women’s University in Denton, Texas and did my student teaching in Fort Worth Public School District. I am one of the original Bi Lingual Bi-Cultural Educator Corp of America (BECA) students from the great state of Texas during the great migration of Spanish Speakers in urban school districts. I graduated in 1972. I am one of the original life credentialed teachers in Bilingual Bicultural Education from the state of Texas and California. I have two Masters Degrees from the University of La Verne in La Verne, California. I am in my 40th and half years as an educator. I have taught all subjects in each of the grade levels, Kindergarten through 12th grade. I hold five teaching credentials (endorsements) in three states. I retired from the State of California after having taught for 35 years. Currently, I am a Spanish instructor at the largest Magnet High School in Las Vegas, Nevada. Rancho High School is known for its Medical and Aviation Program. Rancho is one of NEA’s Priority Schools.
I have been happily married for 38 and one half years. I am the mother of seven children; six daughters and one son. My oldest 3 daughters are educators with Masters Degrees, my fourth daughter is a California Highway Patrol Public Affairs Officer, my fifth daughter is a Labor Law Attorney in Beverly Hills, California, my sixth daughter is a Manufacturing Systems and Compliance Manager for Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colorado. I am a very happy and blessed grandmother to eight grandchildren; four grandsons and four granddaughters.
I am a member of Clark County Education Association –C.C.E.A. located in Las Vegas and the largest local education association in the entire state of Nevada. I served on the C.C.E.A. Executive Board of Directors and on the Clark County School District Curriculum and Professional Development Committee.
I have been a dedicated and committed member of CCEA. I am actively involved in the CCEA Scholarship Committee, Ethnic and Minority Affairs Committee, School Safety Committee, CCEA Hispanic Caucus, Co- Chair of the By Laws Committee, School Building Representative, School Site Teacher Advisory Council and Teaching and Learning Conditions Committee.
I am a member of the Nevada State Education Association Board of Directors. I serve on the Professional Development Committee. I have attended the Summer Leadership Training Sessions and Delegate Assembly. I am the Co-Chair to the Nevada State Board of Education Parental Involvement Commission appointed by State Superintendent of Education, Keith Rheault.
Currently, I am the NEA Hispanic Caucus Chair. I served as the NEA Pacific Region Hispanic Caucus Director. I am a member of the NEA ELL Trainer of Trainers Cadre, and have attended NEA RA’s for the past 4 years. I have also been a NEA RA State Contact the past 3 years. I have participated in several Minority Leadership Training workshops through CCEA, NSEA, and NEA. I have served as the NEA Pacific Region ELL Caucus Director.
I have been a dedicated member of NEA since 1972. I was a member of California Teachers Association (CTA) for 33 years and was also an active officer and member in all of my local affiliates.
Mary Ann Pacheco- Hispanic Caucus Vice Chair
Mary Ann Pacheco was born in Tucson, Arizona, and grew up in southern California. She received her BA in English and Ethnic Studies from the University of Southern California (USC) and her MA in English from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). While at USC she was a student leader, serving as MECHA co-chair and helping to start USC’s El Centro Chicano as well as the first national Chicano literature festival, the Festival de Flor y Canto. She served as the co-editor of the anthology which resulted from that festival.
Ms. Pacheco has been a teacher of English at Rio Hondo College in Whittier for over thirty years. She has taught the full range of composition classes as well as grammar and literature classes, including British literature, American literature, Chicano literature, Shakespeare, and Mexican literature in Translation. She also has been the coordinator of the Writing Workshop and the coordinator of writing assessment.
On the state level, she has been a member of the Bias Review Committee of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, working to ensure that any required tests of teacher candidates are bias free.
As a teacher leader, Ms. Pacheco has served as president of her local CTA/NEA chapter (the Rio Hondo College Faculty Association/CCA/NEA), the Rio Hondo College Academic Senate, and the statewide CTA Community College Association. For ten years, she represented higher education on the CTA Board of Directors. For three years, she represented higher education at-large on the NEA Board of Directors, and she served as a non-voting member of the Board for four years, representing the NEA Hispanic Caucus. Ms. Pacheco represented higher education on the CTA/ABC/Political Allocations Committee for nine years. She also served on the Board of Directors of the NEA’s Foundation for the Improvement of Education for ten years. She has served as chair of the CTA Hispanic Caucus, co-chair of the CTA Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee, chair of the NEA Hispanic Caucus, and co-chair of the NEA Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee.
Ms. Pacheco has been honored with the CTA César E. Chávez Si Se Puede Human Rights Award and the James Davenport Award of the National Council for Higher Education (NEA). She also has received two state-wide and two local WHO (We Honor Ours) awards from the California Teachers Association. Recently, the CTA Community College Association established the Mary Ann Pacheco Award to recognize, each year, those who have supported and promoted ethnic minority issues on campus. In addition, Ms. Pacheco is a member of St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Whittier, CA where, for many years she has served as a lector, a teacher in the pre-school Sunday school program, Women’s Bible Study leader, and a member of various singing groups. Currently, she shares her spare time with her little dog, a Chihuahua/terrier mix named Logan.
Personal Highlights you’d like to share:
I am of Hispanic ancestry, born in Taos, New Mexico and raised in the San Luis Valley in Southern Colorado. I grew up bilingual in a traditional New Mexican home. Although I do not have children of my own, I have 15 brothers and sisters and have helped raise more than 80-90 nieces/nephews, as well as supporting school parents and their children for the past 14 years.
I have been an association member throughout my educational career. Positions I’ve held and hold at the local level in my current and past district are; building AR, Bilingual Rep on Executive Board, Negotiations Team, Election Chair, Membership Committee and EMAC Core Committee Member. At the state level I have served on the Election Committee. On the national level I am a graduate of the NEA Emerging Leader Academy, past NEA Hispanic Caucus Western Regional Director, NEA Hispanic Caucus Liaison to the Women’s Caucus Steering Committee, NEA Diversity Cadre Trainer, NEA ELL Cadre Trainer and the current NEA Hispanic Caucus Treasurer.
Career Highlights you’d like to share:
I received my undergraduate degree from Adams State College in Alamosa, Colorado and Masters’ Degree from the University of Colorado at Denver, in Linguistically and Diverse Education with Bilingual and ESL endorsements. My passion and commitment in my educational career has been in working with all students but specifically with the EL population. Advocating/supporting students, parents and teachers in the educational and political arenas has always been part of my work. Having served as a past President, Treasurer and Keynote/Entertainment Director for the Colorado Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) has helped me network with great people who help me do this work.
IEA-Illinois Education Association (Midwest Region)
- IEA Local 218 Representative
- IEA Region 28 Representative
IEA-Human & Civil Rights Committee
NEA-Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee
NEA-Hispanic Caucus Midwest Regional Director
NEA-Hispanic Caucus Interim Secretary
NEA-Resolutions Committee Member
I hold advanced degrees of study which include dual a certification B.A. in Elementary and Secondary Education with concentrations in English, Reading, and Bio-Chemistry; a M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction, and a M.A. in School Administration. I have taught in various academic setting including a Dual Language Elementary classroom and a Secondary Reading, English, and Science classroom.
As a child, I remember my grandfather telling us stories of how we came to live in this great nation. My grandfather was fortunate to secure a position as a railroad worker on the Rock Island in the 1950’s. He worked as a migrant worker for 10 years before he was able to bring the entire family from, Zacatecas, Mexico in the 1960′s. My mother, then 13, explained how she struggled to understand the new language and culture. She talked about “not fitting in” and” feeling awkward and out of place.” She spoke about teachers not taking the time to teach her the language and her own feelings of inadequacy. She, like thousands of other immigrant students, decided to opt out of school and into the labor force taking a minimum wage factory job at the local steel mill, a trend I still see today. These discussions would fill me with sadness. How could my mother feel out of place? How could someone not appreciate her talent and her desire to learn? and most importantly…what was so wrong with our educational system that it would allow thousands of immigrant students to fall through the cracks. These questions would become my life’s passion. Today I look for the answers to these answers in the students I teacher. I work to help motivate, educate, and develop the skills and self-discipline necessary to fight for their futures. Cultural appreciation is the driving force behind these efforts. They know that if they believe in themselves, their heritage, and who they are, they can achieve that which they aspire to become. My students know that, for me, college is not an unattainable dream but an expectation to be achieved.
I love what I do and work to make a difference in the life of every child who steps foot in my classroom. I change the world one child at a time. I am a teacher.
Together we can make a difference!