Understanding New York State Latino Superintendents through Testimonios

Isaac Joaquín del Monte, Fordham University


This study examined how Latino superintendents in New York State advance to the superintendency and how their leadership influences student achievement for Latino students. The qualitative research design was framed by Critical Race Theory and Latino Critical Race Theory; it utilized the process and instrumentation of testimonios (personal narratives). The research identified three key themes that influenced Latinos positively and negatively in ascending to the superintendency: 1) identity and leadership practices (worldviews on education, culture as a resource in overcoming barriers, intersectionality of ethnicity and gender), 2) networks of support (structural supports and informal mentoring), and 3) overcoming the impact of racism (discrimination, bias perception, microaggressions, racism discriminatory hiring practices, and willingness to relocate). The superintendents used transformational leadership styles centered in community, equity, and collaboration; trust, cultural empathy, and honoring diversity were crucial. As equity leaders, they improve student outcomes using data driven decision-making and looking beyond the data. The study concludes with policy recommendations for how Federal, state, and district decision-makers can leverage the leadership of Latino superintendents to improve our nation’s public school system and provide an enriched education for the rapidly growing Latino student population.

Subject Area

Educational administration|Educational leadership|Hispanic American studies

Recommended Citation

del Monte, Isaac Joaquín, "Understanding New York State Latino Superintendents through Testimonios" (2022). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI29260093.