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ALAS de NM Steering Committee Chair Named to National Board

posted Oct 15, 2012, 3:29 PM by ALAS deNuevoMéxico   [ updated Nov 8, 2012, 1:15 PM ]

Eddie Soto, the chairman of the ALAS de Nuevo Mexico steering committee, has been named to the Board of Directors for the national Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents. 
Soto, an Albuquerque Public Schools associate superintendent for secondary education, was named to the board during the ALAS Summit on Hispanic Education in Miami on Thursday, Oct. 11.
“Albuquerque Public Schools is focused on eliminating the achievement gap and providing an equitable education for all students,” said APS Superintendent Winston Brooks. “Having Eddie on the ALAS Board of Directors will help us continue our focus on the challenges of our largest population - Hispanic students. I am extremely proud of Eddie for earning this honor.” 

Soto had served as an initial participant in the first ALAS organizational meeting nearly 10 years ago at the invitation of then-APS Superintendent Joseph Vigil. With the untimely death of Vigil shortly thereafter, the Albuquerque connection to the national initiative faltered, and the organization gained momentum elsewhere but not in New Mexico. 

Since that initial meeting, numerous state and local affiliates have developed and grown across the country, it wasn’t until this past spring that a New Mexico organization began to develop. 

“I felt personally challenged to reengage in the work of ALAS, which is so pivotal to supporting and improving the lives of Latino youth,” Soto said. “I sought the support of APS Superintendent Winston Brooks, who gave me the authorization to take on the establishment of a statewide affiliate.”

Soto chaired the steering committee for ALAS de Nuevo México, overseeing recruitment efforts, the creation of bylaws and the selection of interim officers. Membership grew within a few months from a planning group of 12 to approximately 150 members statewide.

“Now that ALAS de Nuevo Mexico is well on its way to becoming one of the national organization’s strongest affiliates, I am excited about this opportunity to serve on the ALAS Board of Directors in order to continue the legacy of advocacy for Latino youth at a local and national level,” Soto said. “My experience as a long-time educator in a school district with a Hispanic majority gives me great insight into the needs and challenges of Latino students.”

Soto began his career 34 years ago as a teacher at Washington Middle School in Albuquerque.  He has since served as a school and then district administrator, having spent the past five years as the Associate Superintendent for Secondary Education for APS, providing leadership and support for 13 comprehensive high schools, 10 alternative schools and 27 middle schools. 

His professional background, combined with his personal upbringing, makes him a great asset to the ALAS Board of Directors.