Photo by Cory Wyman ’16 – Mrs. Jessica Roman, the director of the student outreach program, helps a student at lunch, Sept. 9. The student outreach program hopes to assist underrepresented students and strengthen bonds in the community.
By Luis Torres ’16
Administrators have taken the initiative to create a “culturally responsive classroom” and better advocate for traditionally underrepresented students with a new student outreach position, which they hope will help tighten existing bonds among students, teachers and administration.
“In order for Brophy to work well, the student, the school and the parents need to be in partnership. We don’t hold up our end of that as well as we could with parents and students who are traditionally unrepresented, ” said Principal Mr. Bob Ryan.
Mr. Ryan said he and the administrative team talked about creating a position that could advocate for those students and parents.
“Minority students and low-income students are going to be mainly the students I’m going to be working with,” said Mrs. Jessica Roman-Salazar, who fills the new role this year.
However, Mrs. Roman-Salazar said that the student outreach position is for all.
“The beauty of this position is that it can be to help anyone that isn’t feeling as comfortable.” She will be working with three groups on campus: students, parents and faculty.
“In my first year at Brophy, I want to get as involved as I can to get a better picture of what Brophy is,” Mrs. Roman-Salazar said.
Mrs. Roman-Salazar is the co-moderator for Black Student Union, Hermanos Unidos, works on the Summit committee and is already signed up for a Magis retreat.
“My goal is to work in conjunction with counselors, freshmen advisors and faculty members,” Mrs. Roman-Salazar said. “I also plan on more organization for parents’ voices to be heard and included.”
Both Mrs. Roman-Salazar and Mr. Ryan said they hope that the Student Outreach position will create a “culturally responsive classroom.”
“You might say something without realizing that it hurt somebody else. It’s about learning the difference between intent and impact,” Mrs. Roman-Salazar said. “A culturally responsive classroom will build that community.”
These are some of the components Mrs. Roman-Salazar has built into her five-year plan that she hopes will create more community and deepen the bond among students, parents and faculty.
“The end goal is relationships,” Mr. Ryan said. “My hope is that she is able to build relationships with students, faculty and parents and then help the rest of us deepen relationships that already exist.”
Although the school year has just started, Mrs. Roman Salazar already has regulars in her office located in second floor Romley Hall.
“The Student Outreach position has helped me become more comfortable here on campus. I feel myself opening up to her,” said Sebastian De la Cruz ’18.
De la Cruz said he thinks his comfort with Mrs. Roman-Salazar will help him become more successful at Brophy in the coming years.
“I don’t feel overwhelmed with the work I’m receiving each week knowing the student outreach position is here,” De la Cruz said.