Position: Dean of Students
School: Blair Elementary School
School District: School District of Waukesha
City, State: Waukesha, Wisconsin
About the Nominee: Tahereh DeLeon was nominated by her principal, Aida Cruz-Farin. Ms. DeLeon is a ten-year educator who has dedicated her life to Bilingual education. She has transformed instruction at Blair Elementary School and has inspired her colleagues to teach with a social justice perspective. In the ten years she has been an educator, Ms. DeLeon worked at Blair Elementary as a teacher and is now the Dean of Students. She even attended Blair herself as a child!
Ms. DeLeon moved to the United States from Nicaragua and settled in Waukesha, WI in second grade. She made it her life's mission to educate and instill an additive mindset to bilingualism due to her experiences and belief that all should have the opportunity to be bilingual. Ms. DeLeon believes that education transforms lives. She attended UWM for her Bachelors and Masters in Education.
Ms. DeLeon leads with a positive, compassionate and empathetic approach. She always has a smile and welcoming demeanor that has helped her form strong relationships with scholars, staff and parents. Her leadership and actions have ensured that every student at Blair will be prepared and graduate college. She has gained the trust of her parent community to create parent-leaders, both at Blair and at the district level. Her work with the staff to create a culture of inclusion and high expectation for students is evident throughout the building; banners are visible in the hallways with the years that students will graduate from college, and inspiring assemblies are often held to recognize student achievement and community citizenship .
Because of Ms. DeLeon's leadership as Dean, Blair has been recognized as School of Merit two years in a row from the Wisconsin RTI, both in the areas of PBIS and Reading. She has also been integral in community outreach and securing support from organizations such as Blessing in a Backpack, Free Universal Breakfast, Costco Backpack donations, Global Youth Service, etc. This has tremendously benefited Blair and its families. She believes in the mission and vision of Blair so much that her own daughters attended Blair in the Bilingual Program.
Ms. DeLeon is a role model for Latinos and all of Blair's students as she leads by example. She serves on the PTO at Blair, building capacity and recruiting parent leaders. She also serves on the Waukesha Hispanic Youth Collaborative to continue to find resources to bring to Blair. Ms. DeLeon has maintained strong connections with her previous students by re-engaging them to mentor and volunteer at Blair. Many students come back to visit to tell her of the goals of future colleges.
Ms. DeLeon has had a positive impact on students, parents, staff and the greater community because of her hard work and efforts. She has improved the lives of so many people and will continue to have a powerful impact on the Blair community!