AP Spanish Teacher Jose Diaz Reflects on Thirty Years of Involvement with The College Board
AP Spanish Teacher Jose Diaz Reflects on Thirty Years of Involvement with The College BoardDeborah Davis, Director of Digital Content, The College Board
On April 30, The College Board announced an incredibly exciting new partnership with We Day, an initiative of international charity Free The Children that educates, engages, and empowers youth to become agents of change. During a live event in Illinois with over 15,000 students from 601 Chicago area schools in attendance, both organizations committed to a collaboration that will create the AP with We365 Service Program. Launching in fall 2016, the program will allow hundreds of AP teachers in six AP subjects to relate their curriculum directly to community and global service-learning projects sponsored through We Day.
As part of the announcement, a short video which includes comments from a current AP student and an AP Spanish Language and Culture teacher named José Díaz from New York City’s prestigious Hunter College High School, was shown. Díaz has the distinction of being HCHS’s first AP Spanish teacher and he has been working on behalf of the College Board for almost 30 years.
In 1986 he became a member of the AP Spanish Language and Literature Development Committee and was named committee chair two years later. He remained in that role for the next decade while also becoming involved with the AP Summer Institutes and AP training workshops. Díaz was a participant on the College Board’s Panel on Minority Concerns and the Council on College Level Services, and he eventually became involved with the AP Readings. For over 13 years, he served as a Reader and Table Leader, before becoming a Question Leader.
When I asked Díaz what he thought of the AP Readings, he said, “Some people say that the AP Exam is too expensive, but they don’t know about the AP Readings – one of the most wonderful professional development activities around. It’s a unique opportunity for high school teachers and college professors to get together with a common goal. This type of professional development does not exist outside the College Board.”
From 1999 to 2004, Díaz was as a member of the Board of Trustees and was one of the few high school teachers who served on the Board at that time. During that period, he helped support the College Board’s leadership transition from Don Stewart to Gaston Caperton.
Díaz continues to work on behalf of students by supporting the mission of the College Board. He is currently an AP Advocacy Fellow and a mentor to future AP Consultants. He’s also written 16 academic textbooks for Spanish-language educators.
After witnessing so much College Board history, I asked Díaz how he felt about some of the work we’re spearheading right now.
“David Coleman has taken remarkable steps when it comes to testing, being more true to what students need to know for college,” he said. “The new SAT is much more in line with what students are doing in the classroom.”