Local 领导关注的焦点: Sylvia Tanguma, President of 麦卡伦尾

McAllen, Texas, is perched along the border in the Rio Grande Valley. 在一个大约3人的学区,400名员工, 麦卡伦尾旨在代表他们的不同利益.

在芝加哥出生,在墨西哥长大, 1982年,西尔维亚·坦古玛搬到麦卡伦, 就读于该地区的公立学校并从那里毕业.

现在, 担任麦卡伦尾总裁, she’s finding a balance between leading a union of education professionals while still teaching in the classroom.

在这里, Sylvia takes a brief moment out of her busy day to share her experience as a union leader and show what’s happening on the ground with her members.

Sylvia is one of our many exceptional leaders and members across Texas. 看看我们 过去的领袖聚光灯 听到更多他们的声音. 

What’s been going on recently during the pandemic with 麦卡伦尾?

We are working with our schools to vaccinate everyone who wants a vaccine. Our school district has been working with the county since January to get as many school personnel vaccinated as possible. Our school district finally became a provider after we worked hard with the school board and administration to make it happen. 截至3月中旬,所有想接种疫苗的人都获得了疫苗. Every teacher also received a bracelet so one person from their home could be vaccinated, 也是和他们一起生活的最脆弱的人. That’s one of the biggest wins we have right now in my opinion, and that just happened!

I also worked with the school board to get employees with underlying conditions the ability to work remote. We went back to in-person learning in November, and the people that were granted accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act 该公司有近170名员工. 截至3月27日, they’ve gone back in person and that’s because they’ve had the opportunity to get vaccinated. That’s been a great help, and I know a lot of people are feeling a lot of relief and feel safer.

我们是No. 7月和8月是全国第一个热点. 我们的数据连续上升了六到八周. 所有的员工都对重返校园感到压力, and when I saw the opportunity to apply for a grant that I felt would make school staff feel safer, I applied for an AFT Innovation Fund 新型冠状病毒肺炎 Rapid Response Grant. 我们得到了15美元,000 for air filtration so that kids and staff would feel some ease going back into the classrooms. Our campuses are old; they don’t have proper ventilation and often no windows.

德州航空公司也获得了10美元的奖金,他们给了我们1万美元, 所以我们给了学区25美元,000. 这个学区做得非常好. The Innovation Grant helped them in their effort to get new filtration units instead of only new filters. 这些设备可以使用10-12年,而不是. 新的过滤器,只能使用一两个月. All of this in an effort to give peace of mind to school staff, students, parents, and the community.


I was born in Chicago, raised in Mexico, and I moved to McAllen in 1982. I attended McAllen schools and graduated from Memorial High School in McAllen.

我于2004年8月开始在McAllen ISD工作. I was introduced to AFT in late 2005, and I’ve been a member since then. Right away, I became active, and I’ve been part of the union’s board the past 10 years. In 2015, 我们去参加一个领导会议, where we were made aware of what was out there for us in terms of professional development. 从那时起,就像一阵旋风. 我开始了解更多, 倡导更多的, asking AFT to send more of us from McAllen to the 会议, 所以其他人可以看到他们如何让人们参与进来. I really liked the professional development — it was great — and I owe [former Educational Issues Director] Ana Pomar so much for showing me all that AFT has to offer.

自2018年10月以来,我一直是麦卡伦尾的总统. 我喜欢我们团结在一起的倡导——我们所有人. 它非常强大,非常积极,我喜欢它. This is my 21st year in teaching, I’m still teaching while being a part-time president. I’m currently a dyslexia specialist at the elementary level. It’s very hard to leave teaching, especially when you have so many years in.

What is it like to balance being president while also still teaching in the classroom?

I became president before the pandemic, and I felt it was manageable. But I will tell you that right now that during COVID times, it is not manageable. It has been one of the hardest things I’ve had to do: trying to advocate for my members and be their voice. I have a great relationship with my principal and have built a good relationship with administration and the school board members. 有时, 我得跟局里对着干, and it’s a bit difficult doing that as an employee and union leader. 但我做到了.

我们需要为我们的职业而战. We need to have people who advocate for us, and that’s why I lead our union.



作为一名教师,我目睹了这一切,感受到了这一切. 我亲身经历过. 我看到了我们作为教育者被称赞的方式, 还是一样, 我看到并感受到了我们被虐待的情形. 大多数时候我们都被低估了. 我们的职业不受尊重.

这太悲哀了,因为我们工作太努力了. 我们工作很长时间,为我们的学生做了很多. 然而,, 这几乎就像是社区本身, 当然还有州议员, have no idea what a teacher goes through unless they live with one. They don’t really see how much work goes into being a teacher. 我们整天都在和学生们一起教学, and then it’s not like you walk out of your office and you’re done for the day. 这不仅仅是批改试卷, 这是电话, 规划, 会议, 帮助一个需要额外帮助的孩子. We know some kids don’t have the means, so you’re out there trying to see what you can do for them. There is so much that school staff do in our line of work and it carries into our home.

As an educator, I feel we are undervalued and unappreciated, and that is one of my biggest fights. 我们需要为我们的职业而战. We need to have people who advocate for us, and that’s why I lead our union.

你是麦卡伦ISD的公立学校雇员吗? 看看我们 会员的好处 并加入 麦卡伦尾 今天.