Dr. Mariana Zaragoza
Oregon Department of Education
As a first-generation rural Chicana, Mariana experienced a K-12 educational system that did not acknowledge her experience. This influenced her decision to become an agent of change and social justice advocate in the field of education. Now in her 8th year in education, her journey has taken her from a career at the University of Texas at San Antonio as an instructor in the Department Bicultural Bilingual Education, to the Oregon K-12 system, and finally, to the Northwest Regional Education Service District as the Regional Educator Network Coordinator and Washington County Diverse Educator Pathway Supervisor.
During her time in higher education, Mariana has dedicated time to supporting pre-service educators as an instructor of record teaching foundational courses in identity development, social justice advocacy, and community-based learning centered on lived experience. As a service to her department, Mariana co-created the Mexican American Social Studies Teachers’ Academy in which she coached educators as they designed a culturally sustaining curriculum focused on the history and experience of people of color in Texas. In her Oregon K-12 background, Mariana wore many hats including English Language Development, Equity, and Family and Community Coordinator at Tigard High School. Informing her educational service is a Bachelor's degree in International Relations and Global Studies with an emphasis in Latina/o America from the University of Wyoming, a triple Masters in Education, Ethnic Studies, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Oregon State University, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Culture, Literacy, and Language from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Mariana’s work is focused on improving professional support for Oregon's public educators. As the Northwest Regional Educator Network Coordinator, she oversees a coordinating body thatcenters teacher and community voice, engages in a networked continuous improvement process, and equitably distributes funds to better support teachers from recruitment to retirement. This links to her additional role as the supervisor of the Washington County Diverse Educator Pathway that leads in diversifying the teacher workforce in NW Oregon.