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Oregon Association of Latino Administrators honors Superintendent A. Katrise Perera

February 5, 2021


Oregon Association of Latino Administrators honors Gresham-Barlow School District Superintendent Dr. A. Katrise Perera with the Tom Ruhl Ally Award


The Oregon Association of Latino Administrators (OALA) recently announced that Gresham-Barlow SD Superintendent Dr. A. Katrise Perera is the Tom Ruhl Ally Award recipient. The award is presented to a Latinx or non-Latinx educator who has exhibited leadership in equity and cultural competence. The award is designed to highlight educational leaders who have implemented strategies and activities aligned with the Oregon Association of Latino Administrators (OALA) 's mission, purpose, and goals in their district or institution.  

"It is evident in Superintendent Perera's work the ways in which she serves as a role model for communities of color including the Latinx community in the state of Oregon, actively engages and demonstrates advocacy on critical Latinx issues, models cultural competency, and focuses on educational equity for the students and communities she serves," said OALA President
Sarita Amaya.

Under Superintendent Perera's leadership, the Gresham-Barlow School District's accomplishments as they relate to equity and cultural competence include:

-Establishment of a Spanish/English Dual Language Immersion (DLI) Program at two elementary schools beginning with the kindergarten class and expanding by an additional grade each year
-6.3% increase in the on-time graduation rate for Hispanic/Latino students in 2019-20 and a 4.2% increase for all students over the previous year
-Establishment of a series of career pathways with attention to equitable access and support for historically marginalized students
-Establishment of professional development at all levels in the organization focused on culturally responsive instruction
-District-wide transition to 1:1 devices in order to implement a comprehensive distance learning program (eGBSD) for all students during a historic pandemic

"Dr. Perera is a true equity leader and is an advocate for all marginalized communities and believes in empowering our students through education," said Gresham-Barlow School Board Vice-Chair Mayra Gómez, who nominated Superintendent Perera for the award. "She has led the addition of a dual language immersion program, and has overseen an increase in the district's graduation rate as well as built community partnerships. We are very fortunate to have a leader like her in Gresham."

"I am humbled by this recognition and accept the award on behalf of the amazing work that our teachers and leaders have implemented to help ensure that each GBSD student is prepared to THRIVE in a global community," said Superintendent Dr. A. Katrise Perera.

Nominees for OALA Tom Ruhl Ally Award must have demonstrated leadership by:

-Mentoring Latinx educators into education and administration
-Serving as a role model for aspiring administrators
-Serving the Latinx community through active involvement in addressing critical Latinx issues
-Modeling cultural competency and a focus on equity

Superintendent Perera will be honored by OALA at its President's Reception during its 17th Annual Winter Conference on Friday, February 5.