EPISD Board Names School After UTEP Professor
Last Updated on May 31, 2018 at 12:00 AM
Originally published May 31, 2018
By UC Staff
The El Paso Independent School District announced that it will name its new consolidated South-Central campus after Josefina V. “Josie” Tinajero, Ed.D., professor of bilingual education and longtime administrator at The University of Texas at El Paso.
Tinajero, who attended both schools, is an award-winning educator and internationally known expert in the field of bilingual education and cultural equity. She served as dean of UTEP’s College of Education from 2004 to 2013 and was acting dean since 2001. The native of Chihuahua, Mexico, has continued to serve the University as a faculty member and administrator. She was instrumental in co-founding and directing the nationally recognized Mother-Daughter/Father-Son program, which has raised the academic and professional aspirations of Hispanic middle school students and their parents since 1986.
“I was extremely surprised with the news,” said Tinajero, who was at home grading finals for one of her classes as the announcement was made. “There is no higher honor as an educator than to have a school named after you. I am grateful to those who nominated me and for the board’s decision. This is a privilege.”
Tinajero said she has been in contact with and visited the schools’ students, who ask questions that range from ideas for the new school’s colors, mascot and motto, to queries about her childhood, professional career and community service.
Tinajero said she has seen renderings of the new school that will be built on the Henderson property and that she is excited with its look. A groundbreaking is tentatively scheduled in November 2018 and construction should begin a month later. She was told the school dedication and ribbon cutting should occur in fall 2021.
“My focus always has been to provide the best educational opportunities possible to PK-20 students,” said Tinajero, who started her career in 1974 as an elementary school teacher in the Ysleta Independent School District. “I will do whatever I can to make this new school the best it can be.”
She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in elementary education and supervision and administration, respectively, from UTEP and her doctorate in curriculum and instruction with a specialization in bilingual education from Texas A&M University – Kingsville.
The Tinajero school is among five consolidated campuses that the EPISD board approved to be built to replace 10 of the district’s older schools.
This is the third time Tinajero has had something named after her. A developer named a street in far East El Paso after her for being inducted into the El Paso Women’s Hall of Fame in 1994. Fifteen years ago, one of her publishers and a group of her UTEP students established a University scholarship fund in her name for undergraduate students majoring in bilingual education. The endowment has grown to more than $120,000.