Hispanic Caucus Board of Directors



Sasha Cervantes

Term: 2015-2017

Email: sashachavez@gmail.com

Nebraska State Education Association

Personal & Professional Highlights

Sasha Cervantes is a 6th Grade Dual Language, Language arts teacher at R.M. Marrs Magnet Center, in the Omaha (Nebraska) Public Schools. Marrs is a Mathematics, Technology, and Economics Title 1 Grade 5-8 magnet school in South Omaha with the largest ESL and Latino student population in the state.

Cervantes began her career in education as a classroom ESL paraprofessional in 1999 with OPS where she herself had been a student K-12. Fortunately, it was her supportive cooperating teachers who encouraged her to complete her Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education from Peru State College through the district’s Career Ladder Program for non-certified staff. Her career has led her to earning a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a graduate certificate in Urban Education, a K-12 ESL endorsement, and also was one of the first Nebraskans to earn a Bilingual Endorsement in 2009. Most recently, she began her endorsement in Educational Leadership from Western Governors University where she was also a recipient of the NEA Academy Partner Scholarship.

Sasha’s professional development through the NEA’s Minority Leadership Training, has led her to serving the Omaha Education Association as an AR, Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee Chair and the Board of Directors of the 2000 member local. Her local work has also led to a number of opportunities for nominations to a number of district committees. Leadership training, also led Sasha to opportunities to represent Omaha on the NSEA Metro Board, as a Delegate to the Nebraska State Education Association Delegate Assembly as well as on the state’s Elections Committee. At the 2010 Representative Assembly held in New Orleans, Sasha had the distinct honor of representing the NSEA in the NEA Choir. Sasha currently represents Nebraska on the NEA Resolutions Committee.

Sasha is proud of her family’s complicated immigration history that goes back to the Mexican Revolution of 1910 of her maternal great-grandparents through her father’s migration during the economic downturn of the presidency of Luis Echeverria in the 1970s. She and her husband, Alejandro (a natural gas utility worker and member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers), reside in South Omaha with their three-year-old daughter.



Roberto Rodriguez

Roberto V. Rodriguez

Term: 2015-2017

Email: rvrodriguez81@yahoo.com

California Teachers Association

CTA-NEA Coordinating Director

Personal & Professional Highlights

Robert Varela Rodriguez, an experienced special education teacher in San Bernardino City Unified School District, is serving his first year of a two-year term on the Board as the CTA-NEA Coordinating Director, a term that expires on June 25, 2018.

As the CTA-NEA Coordinating Director, he has statewide responsibilities on the Board, representing the numerous California educators serving on the NEA Board. A passionate educator and longtime union activist, his 11 years of teaching have included working at the elementary, middle school, special day class and resource specialist levels.

Rodriguez has represented California on the National Education Association Board of Directors for four years, and was the NEA Hispanic Caucus Pacific Region Director, as well as serving on the NEA Budget Committee.



Alfonso Salais

Term: 2016-2018


Michigan Education Association

  • NEA Racial Justice in Education Policy Task Force Member
  • NEA National Council of Urban Education Association (NCUEA) Ethnic Minority Director
  • NEA Board of Director for Michigan
  • NEA Resolutions Committee Member
  • NEA National Leadership Summit Delegate
  • NEA Midwest Minority Leadership Training Graduate
  • NEA Midwest Leadership Delegate
  • NEA English Language Learner Caucus Member
  • NEA American Indian/ Alaska Native Caucus Member
  • NEA Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee Member
  • MEA NEA RA Strategy Committee Member
  • MEA Board Member Region 8
  • MEA 3-1-G Minority Affairs Committee Member
  • MEA E.L.L. & Migrant Ed Committee Chair
  • MEA Distinguished Service Award Committee
  • MEA Human Rights and Excellence Awards Committee
  • MEA Minority & Women Leadership Conference and Social Justice Institute Participant
  • MEA Local Affiliates Voting Member
  • Lansing Schools Education Association (LSEA) Vice-President
  • LSEA Public Relations Chairperson
  • LSEA Professional Council Member
  • LSEA Instructional Council Member
  • LSEA Negotiations Committee Member
  • LSEA Grievance Committee Member
  • LSEA NCLB Committee Member
  • LSEA PAC Co-Chair
  • LSEA Building Representative
  • Screening and Recommendation Committee Member

Alfonso is a product of the Lansing School District in Michigan where he currently teaches Spanish in the International Baccalaureate Programme of his Alma Mater Lansing Eastern High School.  He attended Central Michigan University (CMU) as a recipient of CMU’s full academic scholarship, the Centralis Scholar Award.  He also earned his Master of Arts degree in Spanish from CMU.  In 2003, Alfonso helped organize Michigan’s First and Only High School Mariachi, Mariachi Everett de Lansing. In 2005, Alfonso was awarded with a prestigious teaching award known as the “Oscars of Teaching”, the National Milken Award.

During his 22 years as an educator, he has made it a goal to advocate and to teach for public education. He has been lucky to have the opportunity to contribute to the community in which he grew up in, and to be apart of an urban setting where he is desperately needed.

Organizations have a mission statement, yet people should have a cause statement.  His cause statement is to help, to serve, and to improve unconditionally and positively without regard. Throughout the years he has received many accolades for his participation in affecting the lives of many former students who have now become professionals around the world. His contributions have not only been for his students, but also for the professional education associations in which he is apart of.  His work at the national level has included advocacy for public education, and many social justice issues for women, and people of color.

We are extremely happy to have Alfonso as a member of our team and we look forward to growing together with all of our unique talents.



Saul Ramos

Term: 2016-2018

Email: saulramos613@gmail.com

Massachusetts Education Association

  • 1st Vice-President
  • Building Delegate
  • ESP Negotiations Committee
  • ESP Sick Bank Committee (Chair)
  • Rules & Bylaws Committee (Vice-Chair)
  • 2016 MTA ESP of the Year
  • 2016 Red Sox Most Valuable Educator
  • ESP Committee (2013-Present)
  • EMAC (2014-Present) (Vice-Chair)
  • Rules and Bylaws Committee (2015-Present)
  • Equal Opportunity Council (2013-Present)
  • Environmental Health and Safety Committee (2013)
  • Delegate to the MTA Annual Meeting (6 years)
  • Emerging Leaders Program graduate – Williamstown 2012
  • Grievance I and I Training (2012-2013)
  • Hispanic Caucus
  •  ESP Director (2012-2014)
  •  Northeast Regional Director (2014-Present)
  •  Elections Committee Chair (2013)
  •  Elections Committee Member (2015)
  • Representative Assembly Delegate (7 years)
  • NEA Resolutions Committee (2015)
  • MTA NBI Committee (2015)
  • Minority Leadership Training graduate 2011
  • English Language Learner Program: A State and Local Summit (April 2013)
  • ELL Pilot Program participant (2015 & 2016)
  • NEA ESP Leaders for Tomorrow graduate (2015)
  • NEA Para-Educator Institute Workgroup (2015-Present)
  • NEA SOGI Committee (2015-present)
  • NEA ESP Digi-Book profile (2015)

I have been a Braillist for the Worcester Public Schools in Worcester, Massachusetts for the past 18 years. I work with visually impaired students, adapting their class work into large print or Braille. My main goal is to make sure our students are integrated into their neighborhood public schools, become familiar with their surroundings, and make them as independent as possible. I have had strong ties with my students, having worked with one student from Kindergarten until he graduated from high School. I am an advocate for English Language Learners and Special Education students. With a lot of patience, understanding, and guidance, our students are capable of accomplishing anything any other student can. I believe in the public school system, as I am a product of it, and also in all the wonderful Educators who work within its walls, who day to day struggle to make this a better world for our students. I am a proud Latino born in San German, Puerto Rico and raised between Worcester, MA and San German. I attended Elementary School in Massachusetts, and Middle/High School in San German. It was a great experience to receive my education and fully develop and understand both languages. As a Latino, I am proud of my roots and the beautiful mix of cultures we all come from. I am a mixture of my mother’s Spaniard heritage and my father’s African and Taino heritage. I am an avid advocate for maintaining our culture alive and making sure our community, especially our youth, are in touch with their roots and embrace the beauty of it. Through Education and Art it is possible. I consider myself an Artist as much as an Educator. One way I do this is through my involvement with several leading nonprofit Arts Organizations in New England, including AS220, Trinity Rep, The Providence Latin American Film Festival, Grupo Arcoiris of Rhode Island, and most recently as founder of “Arte Latino of New England (ALNE)” as it’s Artistic Director. Through these I have helped in providing access to Spanish language and bilingual events through live performances, film, workshops, and cultural education, while helping adults and young Latinos discover hidden talents, build self-confidence, and solidify their cultural and individual identity.



Hugo Jackson

Term: 2016-2018

Email: lighthouselions@hotmail.com

Maryland Education Association

Professional Highlights
  • Local building representative for the HCEA
  • Head of the local Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee for HCEA
  • Former Co-Chair of the State Minority Affairs Committee (MSEA) and current member
  • HCEA Membership Committee
  • Former NEA Diversity Trainer (20115-2013)
  • TEAACH participant at Northrup Gruman
  • Honeywell Space Educator Participant
  • NASA Star Partner in conjunction with Puerto Rican teachers
  • Chaperoned student to Guanica, Puerto Rico for Science and Cultural Exchanges         NEA Diversity trainer
Personal Highlights

I was born in Richmond, Virginia, and eventually moved to the Baltimore, Maryland, area where I graduated high school from Milford Mill High School. I graduated from Towson University. While at Towson University I participated in the National Student Exchange program and spent a semester at North Carolina State University. I worked in Higher Education for a few years before my love for teaching sent me to the K-12 area. I earned my Master’s Degree from Coppin University in Adult & Continuing Education and a Masters Equivalency from The John Hopkins University in Special Education. Currently I am teaching 8th grade Special Education at Lime Kiln Middle School in Howard County, Maryland, and previously taught Reading Modules.   Additionally, I am an adjunct college professor and assistant softball coach at Howard University.

My passion is to make sure that to make all minorities are represented in leadership positions and treated fairly and equally!



Ryans Calmont

Term: 2016-2018

Email: Calmontr@gmail.com

FEA- Florida Education Association

Local /OCEA
  • Association Representative
  • Multi Level/ High School Executive Board
  • MAC Committee
  • ESPs Organizing Committee
  • Membership Committee
State/ FEA
  • FEA Governance Board
  • FEA MAC Committee
  • FEA Delegate
National /NEA
  • NEA Diversity Cadre Trainer
  • NEA Cultural Competence Cadre Trainer
  • NEA Hispanic Caucus Southeast Director
  • NEA Resolution Committee



Louis Sisneros

Term: 2015-2017

Email: Lsisneros@me.com

Colorado Education Association

Personal and Professional Highlights 

Louis Sisneros recently retired after teaching high school English in Jefferson County Public Schools (in the Denver area) for 33 years. Louis now works part time with The Matthew Shepard Foundation. To honor the memory of the young gay man who was beaten and left to die outside of Laramie, Wyoming, in 1998, the Foundation’s mission is to replace hate with understanding, compassion and acceptance. Drawing on his teaching experience, Louis provides production resources to schools and community theaters performing the Laramie Project plays. Also, he has begun to develop and expand instructional materials related to the plays, along with Conspirare’s oratorio Considering Matthew ShepardJudy Shepard’s memoir The Meaning of Matthew, and Michele Josue’s documentary Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine.


SEED Award Winners

Amy Coria

Term: 2016-2018

Email: Coria005@morris.umn.edu

Minnesota Education Association – Student Member

Advocacy Work

  • Voces Unidas – Latino Community Advocacy Group
    • Secretary 2014-2015
    • President 2015- Present
  • Black Student Union
    • Member 2015-2015
    • President 2015-2016
    • Secretary 2016- Present
  • Education Minnesota Student Program State Council
    • Vice-President 2016-2017
  • Education Minnesota Student Program – Morris Chapter
    • Member 2014-2016
    • Junior Representative 2016-Present
  • Volunteer Interpreter – Morris Area School Districts 2016-2017
  • National Education Hispanic Caucus Student Director 2016- Present


I was born in Michoacán, Mexico, but was raised in Chicago. I am a student at the University of Minnesota Morris with a major in Elementary Education and a Spanish Endorsement hoping to work in bilingual education. I am a recipient of the Presidents Scholarly Excellence in Equity and Diversity award at the University of Minnesota.  I am currently the Vice President for the Education Minnesota Student Program Council. Additionally, I am involved with several minority organizations on campus, such as President of Voces Unidas, the Hispanic/Latin@ organization, Black Student Union and United Students for Africa. These organizations were the beginning of my involvement with equity issues both inside and outside of the classroom. As a child, I came to the United Sates undocumented, but have obtained my citizenship now and am beyond grateful to be where I am at with so many opportunities. I am honored to be the student director as I hope to work on recruiting more Hispanic students into the teaching profession so that our educators can reflect our students.