WASHINGTON—Statement of American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the induction of Dr. Rebecca Palacios into the National Teachers Hall of Fame. Dr. Palacios, who is retired from the Corpus Christi Independent School District, will be honored with four other inductees today.
"Rebecca Palacios' intelligence and passion as an educator and activist makes her a perfect choice for the National Teachers Hall of Fame—the first Latina to join this select group. There is no mission more important than preparing children to succeed in school, career and life, and few educators have contributed more to that mission on a local, state and national level than Dr. Palacios. In her long and storied career, Dr. Palacios has compiled an impressive list of achievements both in and outside the classroom. She is a pioneer in the field of dual language learning in prekindergarten, devoting her life to ensuring that our youngest children from households where English is not the primary language have mastered essential concepts and skills. She achieved National Board Certification as a highly accomplished teacher, served as vice chair of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and made multiple appearances as an educational expert before the Texas Legislature, the U.S. Congress and international education forums. As a longtime Texas AFT member, she has been a tireless advocate for giving teachers a greater voice in the workplace. The entire AFT family is very proud of Dr. Palacios and the four other inductees—teachers from Kansas, Michigan and New York—who make up the National Teachers Hall of Fame Class of 2014, and we congratulate these outstanding educators on this appropriate and well-deserved honor."