Sept. 5, 2020

Superintendent, Martha Salazar-Zamora

Superintendent, Martha Salazar-Zamora

“Remember grace, have patience through this and remember, we all went into education because we love it. And not only love each other but remind our students how much we love them.”

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When it comes to leading through an ongoing pandemic and amid the threat of multiple natural disasters, our guest today, Superintendent Martha Salazar-Zamora, believes in having a well-thought-out plan and communicating it clearly to all parties. When drastic, unexpected things happen, the best thing district leaders can do is to formulate a plan and to outline each required step so that everyone is on the same page, even when things are adjusted last minute. And to do this well, Martha believes that the three pillars of grace, patience, and love are key.

In this episode, our guest talks about their reentry plan, the two options they can offer families, how Hurricane Laura might be complicating matters, and what they are doing to mitigate the impacts of the crises. She discusses the lessons they have learned over the last few months, why there is yet a silver lining, and she advises district leaders and parents on the best way forward.

Martha is the Superintendent of the Tomball Independent School District (ISD) in Tomball, Texas. She is a member of the Texas Education Agency Commissioner’s Cabinet, Secretary for the Fast Growth School Coalition, and the past President of the Texas Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents.  Martha earned her doctoral degree at Texas A&M University, 2 master’s degrees at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, and her bachelor's degree at Texas A&I University.


Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

  • The challenge of executing a reentry plan amid an ongoing pandemic and looming natural disasters. 
  • Giving families a choice by offering them two reentry options: face-to-face and virtual. 
  • Leading effectively by continuously communicating the action plan to all parties involved. 
  • The importance of demonstrating grace, patience, and love to those you lead and serve. 
  • Martha talks about the extent to which state and federal guidelines prepared her to respond appropriately to the crises. 
  • The problem of discerning between many well-meaning yet conflicting messages from various government institutions. 
  • Suggestions for what districts leaders can do to prevent the widening of the achievement gap. 
  • Why the district decided not to pick up all the electronic devices from children in the context of the approaching reentry. 
  • Preparing for quick shifts between brick-and-mortar teaching and learning to virtual platforms. 
  • The value of parents becoming more aware of their children’s education and the role of educators. 
  • Martha talks about the quote by Nelson Mandela about the power of education to bring about change. 


Links Mentioned in Today's Episode