The Mexican American School Boards Association was founded by Edgewood ISD Superintendent José A. Cárdenas in 1970, in the middle of the civil rights era. Cárdenas was concerned that Mexican Americans—who represented a substantial part of the Texas population—were poorly represented on local school boards. The organization was officially incorporated on December 6, 1973, with financial aid from the National Education Task Force De La Raza and from the American Lutheran Church.

During its infancy, MASBA was led by a 14-member Board of Directors. The organization was headquartered at St. Edward’s University in Austin, and President Rubén Hinojosa of the Mercedes ISD oversaw the organization’s operations until the hiring of its first Executive Director: Chris Escamilla of the Edgewood ISD. At that time, membership in MASBA was open to all school districts with a sizeable percentage of minority students. MASBA held its first conference on February 8-9, 1975. MASBA organized various efforts, served as a consultant to the Priorities Committee of the Texas State Board of Education, and worked to implement the recommendations of “Toward Quality Education for Mexican Americans,” a report by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and the Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA) of San Antonio. Until 1987, MASBA hosted a leadership program for Mexican American school board members.

MASBA’s initial growth was funded by IDRA, the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, and the National Task Force De La Raza. Prominent members at that time included future Austin Mayor Gustavo García, Alicia Chacón of the Social Security Administration, State Representative Frank Madla, and Raza Unida co-founder José Ángel Gutiérrez.

Throughout the years, MASBA has tackled tough issues of equity and diversity, appropriate curriculum, and the advancement of the Mexican American culture. For 20 years, MASBA has presented an annual conference for trustees to learn about and discuss such issues.

MASBA is also renowned for hosting Texas’ first-ever statewide high school mariachi championship in 2009. The annual competition grew, and MASBA is pleased to report that mariachi is now a sanctioned extracurricular activity with events hosted by the University Interscholastic League!

 

Recent MASBA Board Presidents

2000 – 2002   Alberto Martínez, San Diego ISD

2002 – 2003   Tommy Molina, San Diego ISD

2003 – 2003   Jimmie Adame, Taft ISD

2003 – 2004   Viola García, Aldine ISD

2004 – 2006   Oscar García, Ben Bolt-Palito Blanco ISD

2006 – 2007   Manuel Flores, Corpus Christ ISD

2007 – 2009   Joe Muñoz, Hays CISD

2009 – 2010   María Leal, South Texas ISD

2010 – 2011   Manuel Rodríguez, Houston ISD

2011 – 2012   Josh Cerna, Harlandale ISD

2012 – 2013   Juan Rangel, Fort Worth ISD

2013 – 2014   Gloria Santillán Casas, La Feria ISD

2014 – 2015   Danny “Chief” Bueno, Ben Bolt-Palito Blanco ISD

2015 – 2016   Louis Q. Reyes, III, Seguin ISD

2016 – 2017   Irene Galán-Rodríguez, Big Spring ISD

2017 – 2018   Armando Rodríguez, Canutillo ISD

2018 –            Homero García, South Texas ISD

 

Recent MASBA Executive Directors

1996 – 2000   Juan Aguilera, Round Rock ISD

2000 – 2005   Tommy Molina, San Diego ISD

2005 – 2010   Jimmie Adame, Taft ISD

2010 – 2015   Joe Muñoz, Hays CISD

2015 – 2017   Louis Q. Reyes, III, Seguin ISD

2017 –            Jayme Mathías, Austin ISD