PHOENIX – Elizabeth Sanchez, former school board member of the Alhambra Elementary School District and the Arizona School Boards Association was honored with the first ever Abrazo Octaviano “Tony” Gonzales Award by the National School Boards Association’s National Hispanic Council (NHC). Sanchez has been a strong advocate for Latino students whether in the capacity as a school board member from 2005-2015, as well as served on the NSBA’s NHC Board of Directors. She is very involved in the community and volunteers her time with various organizations which include the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) Education Task Force, NALEO National Policy Institute Healthy Communities and St. Luke’s Health Initiative.
“Her passion and commitment to ensuring that all student receive access to a quality education that prepares them to succeed is why she was selected as this year’s honoree,” said Jesus Rubalcava, ASBA President.
Sanchez was presented with the award at last month’s National School Boards Association Annual Conference held in Nashville, Tennessee. Since 1998, the NHC has honored individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to improving the educational opportunities of Latino children through their time, energy and resources. The name of the award was suggested by then President Elect Octaviano “Tony” Gonzales – “abrazo” in English meaning to “hug or embrace” which is a gesture that Latinos often use to greet or say good-bye. During the NHC retreat last year, the board unanimously voted to change the name of the award to the Octaviano “Tony” Gonzalez award to honor the contributions that Mr. Gonzalez has made in paving the way for Latino school board members.
The Arizona School Boards Association is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting elected local governance of public education and continuous improvement of student success by providing leadership and assistance to school district governing boards statewide. ASBA represents more than 1,000 school board members and more than 1 million Arizona children.