New member appointed to Paraeducator Board

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September 22, 2020


Longtime educator and current principal Omar Escalera is the newest member to be appointed to the Paraeducator Board. Omar was appointed by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and will join his first board meeting Wednesday, September 23. 

Meet Omar


Omar has experienced the education system through a variety of roles, allowing him to bring a wealth of knowledge and diverse perspectives to the Board. He has spent the last 19 years working for the Pasco school district, having begun his journey as a bilingual tutor and mentor in a Title l elementary school. Omar states that during this time, he “quickly realized the need for students of color to see people in the system that looked like them.” Omar earned his certificate through the “grow our own” program and began teaching in a first grade two-way dual language classroom. His teaching career spanned primary, intermediate, and middle school grade levels focusing on Spanish instruction of mathematics, science and Spanish language. Omar facilitated the Pasco school district dual language programs before transitioning to vice principal, and then principal, where he now serves at Robert Frost Elementary. 

When asked what he most looks forward to as a board member, Omar says he is excited to serve “our community of educators across the state and to provide support for vital members of the teaching profession.” He is “looking forward to helping build the capacity of paraeducators to meet the needs of all students, and creating pathways for continuing education.”

“Now more than ever, marginalized students and communities need us to collaborate with them and co-design the future of their education. The need for us to create equitable systems of support for students, and adults is vital. The challenges have never been greater but together, we can meet them head on and persevere for the benefit of our future.”

Omar is also currently earning his Doctorate in Education (Leadership) from the University of Washington. 

A farewell

We would like to thank founding board member, Ricardo Iñiguez, for his service over the years to the Paraeducator Board. Ricardo has played a key role in strengthening support for paraeducators, advocating for student success, and advancing equitable policy within the education system. Ricardo’s care for the paraeducator role as an administrator brought a critical perspective and voice to the Board. We wish him well on all future endeavors.

About the Paraeducator Board

The Paraeducator Board was established by the Legislature to provide consistent statewide professional development training to instructional paraeducators so that they can best support the academic success of students.

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