Hon. Marisa B. Pérez-Díaz, the District 3 State Board of Education member (Democrat), was elected to the Board of Education in November 2012 and took office on Jan. 1, 2013. She is the youngest Latina, nationally, to have been elected to serve on a State Board of Education and is now serving her third term on the board, re-elected in 2014 and 2018.
During her time on the Board, Pérez-Díaz has been instrumental in the redevelopment of high school graduation requirements, the update and approval of the Long-Range Plan for Texas Public Education, and the rebranding of the Permanent School Fund. Additionally, she has been a leading voice in the fight to approve and implement Mexican American Studies and African American Studies courses for high school credit in Texas.
Pérez-Díaz holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology, with a minor in psychology, from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master's degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). Perez-Diaz's cohort's research on the impact of a social justice-oriented principal training program called the Urban School Leaders Collaborative on the transformation of prospective K-12 administrators was presented at the University Council for Educational Administration's 2016 Convention in Detroit, MI, and the American Educational Research Association's 2017 Annual Meeting. She is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from UTSA and is a Graduate Fellow.
Perez-Diaz's passion for child advocacy and public service manifested during her tenure with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Her training and certification in child welfare range from child development and advanced risk assessment to planning diversity initiatives and community engagement. Harnessing her expertise and skills, she served as a district-level administrator in several Texas school districts for over ten years. She now serves as an executive in a mission-based financial institution.
Perez-Diaz serves on several non-profit boards and is an active member of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. Perez-Diaz is married to Rafael Diaz, Jr. They are the proud parents of three children, Catalina Yaretzi, Rafael, and Santiago Jadiel.
As the District 3 board member, Perez-Diaz represents the citizens in the following counties: Bee, Brooks, Duval, Gonzales, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Karnes, Lavaca, Live Oak, McMullen, Starr, Wilson and parts of Bexar and Hidalgo counties.
I behave as though our children are counting on us and our education community is watching — because they are.
Like many women, Perez holds many titles. She’s a wife, mother, Texas State Board of Education member, third-year Ph.D. student, foundation executive and business owner. Like many women, her heart, mind and soul were heavy. Her message resonated.
“They’re willing to say anything, and in the process, we’re dismantling what public education has the potential to do,” she said. “If more educators in this state and in this country would become politically engaged, we would look completely different.”
Marisa B. Perez-Diaz Campaign
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