Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Recognizes Aspiring Latino Superintendents with Scholarship Funding

BOSTON – Global education leader Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) today announced Socorro Shiels as the recipient of its $10,000 scholarship for higher studies in education, which was presented at the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents’ (ALAS) Summit on Hispanic Education.  Shiels, who is the Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services at the Morgan Hill Unified School District in California, is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of California at Davis.  She will use the scholarship toward this graduate work, through which she will earn a doctorate in Educational Psychology with a focus on Educational Measurement. 

“We are pleased to help further the education of a worthy educator like Ms. Shiels,” said Mike Lavelle, K–12 President, HMH.  “We are confident in her ability to empower positive change in her school district and beyond.  An enthusiastic supporter of educational reform, Ms. Shiels understands the challenges English Language Learners (ELLs) face, and what must be done to overcome them.”

The one-time $10,000 scholarship, which HMH has provided since 2006, is awarded to an ALAS member in good standing, who is an aspiring school leader pursuing an advanced degree in education with the goal of becoming a superintendent. 

“ALAS is very pleased to partner with HMH to provide scholarships to aspiring Latino superintendents,” said Carlos Garcia, President, ALAS.

With a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish, Shiels began her career as a bilingual first grade teacher in East Palo Alto, California.  After achieving a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership, Shiels moved from classroom instruction to several positions in educational administration, including her current role at the Morgan Hill Unified School District.

“It is an honor to receive this scholarship from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,” said Shiels.  “There is much work to be done to ensure all ELLs are given access to quality education, and I intend to work tirelessly to achieve that goal.”

Altagracia (Gracie) Guerrero, winner of the honorable mention award, will also receive a one-time $2,000 scholarship for her lifelong commitment to education.  A former teacher and principal, Guerrero is now the Director of Multilingual Services at the Aldine Independent School District in Houston, where she continues to work toward erasing the achievement gap between ELLs and other subgroups.

The awards were presented at the ALAS National Summit on Hispanic Education at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis in San Francisco, California which took place from October 12 – 15, 2011.  The HMH ALAS awards dinner included a video presentation from actress Eva Longoria, as well as presentations from Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho from Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Cesar Conde, President of Univision Networks, Enrique Guerra, Student Body President at Quimby Oaks Middle School in San Jose, and Daniel Hernandez, who began his internship in the Office of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Arizona) days before the shooting in Tucson and rushed to Congresswoman Giffords' aid.

About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 
With education products and services used by 57 million students throughout all 50 U.S. states and 120 countries, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is a global education and learning company. The world’s largest provider of materials for pre-K–12 learning, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is leading the way with innovative solutions and approaches to the challenges facing education today. Through curricula excellence coupled with technology innovations and professional services, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt collaborates with school districts, administrators, teachers, parents and students, providing interactive, results-driven learning solutions. Its Educational Consulting Services group works to increase student achievement in underperforming schools by developing, implementing and supporting education transformation through sustained district partnerships.  With origins dating back to 1832, the Company also publishes an extensive line of reference works and award-winning literature for adults and young readers. For more information, visit www.hmhco.com.