Tracie Noriega: Assistant Superintendent of the San Lorenzo Unified School District and President, Filipino American Educators Association of CA
Location: San Lorenzo, California, United States
Educator extraordinaire Tracie Noriega spends her days elevating the academic environment of students in her district and championing for fellow Filipino American educators. She’s never let anything hold her back from lifting others up, both within her own district and in the state as a whole.
“As the daughter of immigrants, a teen mom, a woman of color, I had many things stacked against me. As an Assistant Superintendent, I am one of the few Filipino-Americans at the cabinet level. I’m proud that I continue to work on supporting Ethnic Studies knowledge and implementation across the state in various ways, as well as just being a role model for all of the future Filipina educators,” she says.
Her days are filled with meetings, visiting classrooms, and immersing herself in the goings-on of local education initiatives. “Seeing teaching and learning in action continues to ground me as an Educator,” she explains.
Beyond her day job, Tracie has stepped forward to help strengthen the community of Filipino American Educators such as herself. She currently serves as the President of the Filipino American Educators Association of California.
“I became involved with FAEAC as a young educator through a local educators organization in 1996. When I first started teaching there were very few Filipino American Educators in my district even though the city and school district had a high population of Filipinos and Filipino-Americans. I was introduced to the local group PASE (Pilipino American Educators Association of CA) and from there as a group, we would attend yearly statewide conferences where all Filipino American Educators would come together,” Tracie explains. “I was always amazed to see us in one place. Fast forward a number of years and FAEAC began to dwindle with educators retiring. My local group, PASE, in partnership with a group in San Diego decided to revive the organization in 2012. I became President in 2015 and continue to work on growing the organization in order to represent the Educators of Filipino descent in CA.”
She has been working with FAEAC to grow membership and provide a venue for support, as well as bolstering Ethnic Studies implementation at the state and district levels. Tracie and other FAEAC members meet with legislators and collaborate on coming up with curriculum that further supports their Ethnic Studies initiative.
When Tracie isn’t working, she enjoys her family, hiking, television and enjoying the coast.
“These days, my favorite thing to do is nothing! Napping, watching TV. But the best is being at the beach with my toes in the sand, feeling the rays of the sun on my face, and listening to the waves,” she says.
She’s found plenty of inspiration on Instagram to further enrich her free time. “I follow a number of EntrePinays on Instagram. “Pinay” is another term for “Filipina,”’ she explains.
But her biggest inspiration in real life comes from her four children.
“I am so proud of them and who they are turning out to be,” she says.
We’ve asked Tracie who or what we should feature next month, and she pointed to a larger cause that has moved so many people to take action recently, both in legislation as well as marches across the nation.
“The rise of Anti Asian Violence has weighed heavy on me,” Tracie says. “The murders in Atlanta took many of us over the edge. Many of us have been working so hard for such a long time to educate our communities, our workspaces, even our families on racism and white supremacy culture.”
In particular, Tracie has worked as part of the STOPAAPIHATE movement, an organization that is tracking and looking to combat racism and hate against Asian American Pacific Islander communities, which has skyrocketed during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tracie has nominated Dr. Connie Wun who is the co-founder of another Asian American Pacific Islander organization, AAPI Women Lead https://www.imreadymovement.org/. “She has been doing this work and raising awareness for so long,” Tracie adds. Dr. Wun is definitely a notable Human of the Month we would be excited to feature.
For her tireless efforts as an educator and all around badass, we are thrilled to feature Tracie Noriega as our Human of the Month for April 2021.
The FAEAC website is https://www.faeac.info/
Every time we feature a Human of the Month (previously Cool Girl), we make a $200 donation to an organization of the Human’s choice. We are pleased to be making Tracie’s donation to AAPI Women Lead this month!