SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — In order to make sure diversity is celebrated and protected in the classroom, Springfield Public Schools hired a new diversity officer, Yvania Garcia-Pusateri.
Her parents are immigrants in the United States so she says that gives her a personal connection with many students at SPS with different backgrounds.
“I grew up not really seeing teachers or administrators that look like me,” Garcia-Pusateri said. “To me, this work is really personal, because for a lot of these students, that’s kind of my story.”
She’s just starting her 90-day “listening and learning tour” to get to know students better.
She will be visiting all the schools, speaking with students and faculty and also meeting with members in the community that might work with SPS.
One of her goals is to encourage diverse identities.
“Our students understand that they are more than asymmetrical beings, they understand that their races intersecting with their gender, or their races intersecting with their sexual orientation, or even race intersecting with religious beliefs and practices.” Garcia-Pusateri said.
After these 90 days of meeting people and gathering information she will be putting together a list of recommendations for the admin and board to consider.