Metro Tech Math Teacher Erika Parra Selected as 2014 Chicanos Por La Causa Esperanza Award Winner

Posted by Community Relations on 10/8/2014

Fifteen years ago, Erika Parra came to this country as a sophomore in high school, unable to speak English. Now she is an exemplary teacher, giving hope to students through her example.  

The Metro Tech math teacher has been selected as a 2014 Chicanos Por La Causa Esperanza Award winner, honoring Latino teachers who inspire students of all backgrounds, play an active role in the school, and demonstrate a true commitment to the community.  

Parra is one of four Arizona educators who will be recognized at a dinner ceremony, October 23, at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown. Each of the honorees will receive a $5,000 stipend and a $2,500 donation to their respective schools. 

Parra teaches Freshmen Honors Algebra, and Geometry. She was elected to lead the school’s Algebra Professional Learning Community (PLC), she sponsors the Math Club and MEChA, mentors two new math teachers and volunteered to coach the first girls soccer team this year. 

Parra, a Camelback graduate, began as a special education instructional assistant at Metro Tech in 2005, and an ELL Instructional Assistant at North for four years, before beginning her teaching career in 2010 at Metro Tech.  She has earned Bachelor’s degrees in Mathematics and Secondary Education, and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from ASU. She is working on another degree as well as her National Board Certification.

“I identify with my students. For most of them English is their second language, so I encourage them to become someone in life, and break the chain in their family, and become the first ones to get a higher education. I can proudly say I reached the goals I set, and at the same time, fulfilled my parents’ dreams and be a role model for my family and students.”

 Last year, all 25 of her sophomore geometry students passed the AIMS Math exam, with 14 Exceeding the standards, and the other 11 Meeting the standards. 

Parra is the sixth Esperanza winner from Phoenix Union in the past six years.  She joins former high school classmate and now colleague, Metro Assistant Principal Julio Rubio, who won in 2012, Jeanette Fernandez Scott, Cesar Chavez (2013); Selina Alonzo, Maryvale and Guadalupe Meza, South Mountain (2010) and Vanessa Valenzuela, Carl Hayden (2009).