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Presidential Advisory Commission on
Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans

Commission Co-Chairs

Picture of Frank HannaFrank Hanna, Atlanta, Georgia
Hanna is CEO of HBR Capital, Ltd., a merchant banking firm, and has started and backed a number of successful financial-service and information-processing businesses. He has a strong interest in education, has helped found three schools in Atlanta, and has served on the Archdiocese of Atlanta education task force. A frequent speaker on issues of faith as they pertain to business practices, he is active in efforts that serve children and the poor. A graduate of the University of Georgia's business college in 1983 and law school in 1986, Hanna was a Truman Scholar and a National Merit Scholar.

Picture of Endelia SchofieldEndelia Schofield, Hillsboro, Oregon
Schofield is principal of W.L. Henry Elementary School in Hillsboro, Oregon. Her extensive experience in public education includes seven years as an elementary school principal and nine years as an elementary school teacher. She had significant involvement in staff and curriculum development and success in increasing student achievement. Schofield earned a master of arts degree from Portland State University, a doctor of jurisprudence from Northwestern School of Law, and a bachelor of arts from Pacific University. She is a member of the Oregon Bar.

Commission Members

Picture of Micaela AlvarezMicaela Alvarez, McAllen, Texas
Alvarez has been a partner with Hole & Alvarez, L.L.P. in McAllen, Texas, since 1997. She has established an impressive legal career that includes a term as Presiding Judge of the 139th Judicial District Court in Hidalgo County, Tex. Alvarez currently serves on the boards of the McAllen Medical Center and the state Office of Risk Management. She also chairs the McAllen Advisory Board. Alvarez earned a doctor of jurisprudence degree from the University of Texas School of Law in 1989 and a bachelor of social work degree from the University of Texas in 1980.

Picture of Christopher J. BarbicChristopher J. Barbic, Houston, Texas
Barbic is the founding director of YES College Preparatory School. As the only state-chartered public high school in Houston providing inner-city students with a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, YES College Prep is aggressively addressing the inequities in urban education through a focused mission of preparing students for college and graduation. Ranked the highest-performing high school on Texas Assessment of Academic Skills testing, YES serves predominantly low-income students from the Hispanic community. Barbic holds a bachelor of arts degree in English and Organizational Development from Vanderbilt University.

Picture of Fernando 'Frank' CaldeiroFernando "Frank" Caldeiro, League City, Texas
Caldeiro is a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronaut qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist. Currently, Caldeiro is assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office Station Operations Branch where he serves as lead astronaut for European-built station models. Caldeiro received an associate degree in applied science in Aerospace Technology from the State University of New York at Farmingdale in 1978, a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Arizona in 1984, and a Master of Science degree in engineering management from the University of Central Florida in 1995.

Picture of Jose G. CancholaJose G. Canchola, Tucson, Arizona
Canchola is Chairman of the Canchola Group, a holding company of several restaurant franchises in Tucson and Nogales, Arizona. Canchola was a member of the McDonalds Corporation Operators Advisory Board from 1981 to 1993 as well as National Franchise Director. He and eight other Hispanic franchisees organized the McDonalds Hispanic Operators Association as a national partnership with the corporation. Canchola currently serves on the board of directors of the Tucson Electric Power Company and of the Northern Trust Bank in Tucson. Previously, he held a range of prominent local and national positions, including chairman of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Mayor of the City of Nogales, Arizona. Canchola is also an investor in the new Major League Baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was educated at various institutions, including the New York Institute of Finance, New York University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Oklahoma.

Picture of Jaime A. EscalanteJaime A. Escalante, Roseville, California
In 1974, Escalante was hired as a mathematics teacher at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles, a troubled inner-city school. His success in teaching advanced mathematics to inner-city students was portrayed in the 1988 Academy Award-nominated film Stand and Deliver. His many teaching awards include the Presidential Medal for Excellence in Education and the Andres Bello Prize from the Organization of American States. He is a recipient of the Freedom Forum's Free Spirit award and an inductee in the National Teacher's Hall of Fame. He also hosted the PBS classroom television series FUTURES with Jaime Escalante, a popular instructional program. He holds a bachelor of arts degree from California State University, Los Angeles.

Picture of Charles P. Garcia Charles P. Garcia, Boca Raton, Florida
Garcia has served as Chairman and CEO of Sterling Financial Investment Group since the company was founded in September 1997. Today, the company is recognized as a global organization and was honored by University of Florida as Fastest Growing Privately Held Firm. In June 2001, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush appointed Garcia to a newly formed entity, the Florida Board of Education. Garcia is the only Hispanic on the seven-member board, which is frequently referred to as the education "super board." For his contributions to the Hispanic community, Hispanic Business magazine identified Garcia as one of the "100 most influential Hispanics in the United States." Garcia is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and holds a master's degree from the University of Oklahoma and a juris doctor degree from Columbia Law School.

Picture of Norma S. GarzaNorma S. Garza, Brownsville, Texas
Garza is founder and chair of the Brownsville, Texas, Reads Task Force. She served on former Gov. George Bush's Focus on Reading Task Force and the Governor's Special Education Advisory Committee. She also served as a Texas panel member of Academics Goals 2000 and received the Texas State Board of Education "Heroes for Children" award. Garza is a member of the International Dyslexia Association and serves as a strong advocate for business community involvement in education. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, she works as a Certified Public Accountant and is a member of the National Reading Panel.

Picture of Alexander Gonzalez Alexander Gonzalez, San Marcos, California
Gonzalez is president of California State University, San Marcos. Previously, he was the provost and vice president for academic affairs at California State University in Fresno. Gonzalez has served on several key California State University system commissions and task forces, including the Commission on Financial Aid, the Institute for Teaching and Learning; and the Commission on Educational Equity. He is a member of the public policy committees of the San Diego Economic Development Corporation and the Greater San Diego Chamber of Commerce. Gonzalez has also served as commissioner of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and as a member of the Advisory Board of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, the Council of Representatives of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges, and the Council of Representatives of the American College Board. A graduate of Pomona College, he attended Harvard Law School and earned a doctorate in psychology from the University of California in Santa Cruz.

Picture of Miguel A. Hernandez, Jr.Miguel A. Hernandez, Jr., Sea Brook, Texas
Founder and CEO of Hernandez Engineering Inc., the 11th largest minority-owned business in the United States, Hernandez helped initiate NASA's Apollo Space program. Hernandez was named the first Hispanic Business Entrepreneur of the Year. His company, which specializes in manned space flight operations, was chosen for creating innovative marketing strategies, overcoming the challenge of competing with larger companies, growing at an annual rate of 123 percent between 1986 and 1990, and contributing to the community. Hernandez volunteers his time and resources with several organizations, including the Hispanic College Fund, the National Hispanic Institute, and Hispanic Outreach Pathways to Education. He earned a bachelor's degree in engineering and a master's degree in systems management from the University of Florida.

Picture of The Rev. Jose HoyosThe Rev. Jose Hoyos, Dale City, Virginia
Hoyos is the Pastor of the Holy Family Church in Dale City, Virginia. In 1995, the Governor of Virginia appointed him as a member of the state Volunteers and Community Work Commission. He was a founder of the Arlington Hispanic Council and of Marcelino Pan y Vino, a nonprofit organization. He has been a columnist for Diario de Hoy in San Salvador, El Salvador, since 1997, and has contributed to La Nación, a newspaper distributed in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. He has created television and radio programs serving Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia since 1996. Previously, Hoyos was the Associate Pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Parish in Falls Church, Virginia, and Judge of the Ecclesiastical Tribunal for the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia. Hoyos obtained a master of divinity degree from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Illinois.

Picture of Patricia J. MazzucaPatricia J. Mazzuca, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Mazzuca is principal of Roberto Clemente Middle School, Philadelphia's largest middle school. The school serves as an international model for multicultural education and technology programs in inner-city schools. Mazzuca has received numerous awards for her leadership in education and has been a frequent lecturer, guest speaker and panelist-locally, regionally and nationally. Mazzuca has extensive experience in bilingual education, technology/curriculum integration, and assessment and analysis. Mazzuca has an Elementary and Secondary School Principalship degree from Trenton State College, a master of education degree in special education from Temple University, and master of psychology degree from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras.

Francisco J. Paret, Palo Alto, California
Francisco Paret is presently managing partner of Aldamar Partners, an investment banking boutique providing independent financial advisory services. Previously, Mr. Paret was a senior investment banker in the Technology Investment Banking Group with Credit Suisse First Boston Corporation. He has also held positions with ING Barings Securities, as vice president of the Latin American Investment Banking Group; with Bear, Stearns & Co., Inc., as vice president of the Latin America Investment Banking Group; and with Prudential Securities Inc. Paret is a founding partner and member of Social Venture Partners of the San Francisco Bay Area, a venture philanthropy organization focused on issues of youth and education. He also serves on the board of directors of Opportunities Industrialization Center West, a non-profit community-based job-training center, and on the board of advisors of Hispanic-Net, a non-profit organization that seeks to advance Hispanic entrepreneurship. He received a master's degree in business administration from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Picture of Altagracia 'Grace' RamosAltagracia "Grace" Ramos, Beavercreek, Ohio
Grace Ramos is a commissioner with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission in Columbus, Ohio. Previously, Ramos held positions with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Office of Public Liaison at the White House. She has been active in a variety of community groups, including the Ohio Baptist Convention Hispanic Task Force, the Dayton Area Baptist Association, the Greater Dayton Area United Way, the Ohio Welfare Conference, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Hispanic Youth Foundation. Ramos has received numerous awards, including selection by the Dayton Daily News as one of the "Ten Top Women." She also received the Ohio Distinguished Hispanic Award and the Ohio Woman of Courage Award in Government. She attended San Bernardino College.

Picture of Van D. RomeroVan D. Romero, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Romero is the Vice President for Research and Economic Development at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. Romero is also a Professor of Physics at New Mexico Tech. He received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Physics from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and his Ph.D. in Physics from the State University of New York.

Picture of Jon SecadaJon Secada, Miami, Florida
Jon Secada, a Grammy Award winning artist, is a pioneer musician of the Latin fusion sound. His music, influenced by his upbringing in Miami's melting pot, seamlessly mixes pop, rock, and jazz into the instantly recognizable Secada sound. He is both a critical success amongst music's cognoscenti and a popular success selling nearly 20 million albums worldwide. In addition to his phenomenal solo career, he has co-written songs with pop luminaries Gloria Estefan, Ricky Martin, and Jennifer Lopez. Secada's artistry is informed by his education from the University of Miami where he received both a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters Degree in jazz vocal performance.

Picture of Ofelia Saenz Vanden BoschOfelia Saenz Vanden Bosch, Wimberly, Texas
Vanden Bosch recently retired after a career in public service working for Victoria County, Harris County, the Houston Chamber of Commerce, the City of Houston, and the State of Texas. Her last position, from 1995 to 2000, was as administrative assistant to the Governor of Texas. Prior to this, she worked for the City of Houston from 1964 to 1974 and again from 1983 to 1994, where she served two mayors and two city department directors. From 1975 to 1982, Vanden Bosch worked for the president of the Houston Chamber of Commerce and the Texas Secretary of State.

Picture of Rene VazquezRene Vazquez, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Dr. Vazquez's distinguished career in medicine and public service have led him to operate one of the largest ophthalmology clinics in Puerto Rico. He currently has a private practice in pediatric ophthalmology in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico. Dr. Vasquez has served in various positions at Municipal Hospital, in the Ophthalmology Department of the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, and as chief of pediatric ophthalmology with San Jorge Children's Hospital. He has published articles on various aspects of pediatric ophthalmology. Dr. Vazquez received his bachelor's and medical degrees from the University of Puerto Rico.

Picture of Octavio J. VisiedoOctavio J. Visiedo, Coral Gables, Florida
Octavio Visiedo was formerly the superintendent of schools in Dade County, Florida, the country's fourth largest school district. After serving six years in that position, Visiedo resigned and, in 1999, became one of the four founders of Chancellor Academies, Inc., a leading developer and manager of high-quality, public charter schools and independent private schools serving students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12. Visiedo received both his bachelor of arts in history and master of education degrees from the University of Miami. He currently is a visiting professor at Florida International University.

Full Commission List

White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans
The White House White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans