On Wednesday, May 11th, the White House recognized Cynthia Tercero-Sandoval of Peoria, Ariz. as one of 12 education support professionals across the country as a “School Support White House Champion of Change.”  These individuals were selected by the White House for their leadership and tireless work to ensure that students in our nation’s schools receive the support and motivation they need to be successful.

White House
Cyndi Tercero-Sandoval with the National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen-Garcia (Photo courtesy of Phoenix Union High School District)

Tercero-Sandoval is the dropout prevention coordinator for the Phoenix Union High School District, which serves more than 27,000 students.  She has been a champion for public education and at-risk youth for more than 20 years.  In her role as the dropout prevention coordinator and through her numerous volunteer efforts, Tercero-Sandoval has helped countless students stay engaged in school so they graduate with a high school diploma.

In addition to this most recent honor, Tercero-Sandoval has received numerous awards, including the Community Excellence Award from the Arizona State University Hispanic Mother-Daughter Program, the Phoenix College Golden Bear President’s Partnership Award for K-12 School Colleague, and the Community Service Award from the League of United Latin American Citizens.  She is a recent graduate of the Georgetown University School Justice Reform Certificate Program.

“I take advantage of every opportunity to connect the importance of educating the whole student and bringing together community partners to eliminate barriers to learning,” says Tercero-Sandoval.

She received this honor at the Champion of Change awards event held last week in Washington, DC. The program featured remarks by Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett.

The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities. This is the first time education support staff members were recognized.