José A. Velázquez, M.Ed., is an education associate at IDRA with over 30 years of experience as a PK-12 bilingual/ESL classroom teacher, high school principal and consultant. Using his experience and expertise with implementation of best practices for bilingual Education/ESL and parent engagement, he provides professional development and technical assistance to schools across the nation in rural and urban contexts. As an IDRA EAC-South project associate, he also provides leadership development to strengthen campus leadership teams to improve academic performance for all students with a special focus on EL students at their campuses.
Mr. Velázquez received a bachelor of arts in anthropology and a master’s in education at the University of Texas at El Paso. He also completed coursework in educational administration leading to mid-management certificate at Sam Houston State University and is completing a doctoral dissertation at the University of Texas at El Paso.
Mr. Velázquez began his career in education as a middle school social studies teacher where he found his calling to become a bilingual/ESL teacher. This catapulted him into the world of advocacy for immigrant youth and families within the universe of public education. As a bilingual/ESL teacher, Mr. Velázquez has taught second language learners at all grade levels. Over the years, this classroom experience became the foundation for later success in promoting effective strategies for engaging minority youth and parents in achieving academic goals and community involvement. Driven by his passion for the subject, he considers himself to be a life-long learner inspired by lived experiences as a former EL student, teacher, parent and principal.
As a program specialist for regional educational laboratories, including SEDL, AEL and NWREL, Mr. Velázquez has provided professional development and technical assistance to educators in rural and urban settings throughout the country. Much of this work focused on meeting the linguistic, cognitive and affective needs of English learners to support their academic success. To further enhance success for English learners, he facilitated parent and family engagement efforts focused on strengthening capacity for self-advocacy leadership skills as well as home support for academic success. As a former English learner himself, Mr. Velazquez recognizes the powerful ways EL parents and families can actively participate in paving their paths to success.
Mr. Velázquez expanded his focus to include leadership development for campus principals and their leadership teams. He has trained district and campus leadership in the use of the new Texas teacher and principal evaluation instruments (T-TESS and T-PESS) and has facilitated the required training for new principals in Texas: Advancing Educational Leadership (AEL). In his role as a leadership development consultant, he provided training to superintendents and school board members as well as teacher leaders that aspire to lead campuses as future principals.