Trustee Deborah Costa Hernandez » BIOGRAPHY


When I was 8 years old my family moved from Puerto Rico to New York. I have memories of not understanding my teachers or my classmates and I remember being bullied for not speaking English. I also remember my parents’ frustration because of their inability to communicate their concerns about me with the staff at the school. When I became an elementary bilingual teacher and later as a school administrator, I focused on doing everything within my power to prevent any student from experiencing what my family and I endured. In EJE Academies, I have found a school that focuses on the emotional needs of students while still providing a high quality bilingual education and a staff that cares deeply about the families they serve. I can only imagine how different my parents' experience would have been if we had found a school like EJEA.  

I have been a member of the EJE Academies Board of Directors since 2014 and I’m honored to support our staff as they endeavor to provide a high-quality, well-rounded educational experience to all students. My work as a board member is informed by 30 years of service in education, including experience as a teacher, language arts specialist, and most recently as a school and district administrator for the National School District. I hold a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from San Diego State University.  I currently serve as the Executive Director of the California Reading & Literature Project Director at UC San Diego, providing professional development for teachers in reading/literacy and language development throughout the state. I stay connected to the teachers and staff at EJEA by facilitating professional development on biliteracy and language development in addition to collaborating with the leadership team on instructional matters.

Throughout my entire career in education, I have  been committed to supporting educational systems grounded in principles of inclusivity, respect, equity, and social justice. The leadership and staff team at EJE Academies is a group of individuals with similar beliefs; a school organized to serve all students and their families while valuing diversity and promoting the principles of equity and social justice. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for EJEA as we continue to set the standard for a well-rounded dual language education and prepare our students to be critical thinkers and advocates for justice. I will continue to support EJEA’s teachers, staff, and families as we open new and exciting doors of opportunity for all of our students. I believe the graduates of EJEA are our future and I know they will contribute to their communities in great ways.