Board Term: Jan. 1, 2015 - Jan. 1, 2019
Marisa B. Perez-Diaz, the District 3 State Board of Education member, was born and raised in San Antonio. She is a product of the Texas public school system and is a passionate advocate for equitable education for all students.
Perez-Diaz, a Democrat, was elected to the State Board of Education in November 2012 and took office on Jan. 1, 2013. She is the youngest Latina, nationally, to have ever been elected to serve on a State Board of Education and is now serving her second term on the board. Perez-Diaz served on the Committee on Instruction from January 2013 to December 2016. Since January 2017, she has served as vice chair of the Committee on School Initiatives.
Perez-Diaz holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology, with a minor in psychology, from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master's degree in educational leadership and policy studies from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Perez-Diaz's cohort's research on the impact of a social justice-oriented principal training program called the Urban School Leaders Collaborative on the transformation of prospective K-12 administrators was presented at the University Council for Educational Administration's 2016 Convention in Detroit, MI. This research has been accepted for presentation at the American Educational Research Association's 2017 Annual Meeting: Knowledge to Action Achieving the Promise of Equal Educational Opportunity.
Perez-Diaz's passion for child advocacy and public service manifested itself during her tenure with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Her training and certification in child welfare range from child development and advanced risk assessment to planning diversity initiatives and community engagement. From there, she went on to serve as the government and community relations specialist for the San Antonio Independent School District, giving back to her alma mater, followed by service as director of external affairs for IDEA Public Schools.
Her years with TDFPS and work in both a traditional and charter school setting have all culminated in a unique perspective of education, an understanding of the impact that a child's educational experience has on his or her development and the need to strengthen and support a high standard of care in public education. Perez-Diaz uses the experience she has gained in her current job as Director of Government, Community and Judson Education Foundation Relations in the Judson Independent School District.
The arts have also shaped Perez-Diaz's character, as she has been a student of Ballet Folklorico and Flamenco for more than 29 years. She is currently an active member of The Guadalupe Dance Company. Perez-Diaz believes that a strong cultural, philanthropic and educational foundation have been key to her personal and professional development.
Perez-Diaz serves on the board of directors for Family Service Association, San Antonio's oldest human services non-profit organization, and is an active member of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.
As the District 3 board member, Perez-Diaz represents the citizens in the following counties: Bee, Brooks, Duval, Gonzales, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Karnes, Lavaca, Live Oak, McMullen, Starr, Wilson and parts of Bexar and Hidalgo counties.
Perez-Diaz is married to Rafael Diaz, Jr. The Diazs have one child, Catalina Yaretzi, and will be welcoming their second child in July 2017.