Mariana Castro and Silvia Romero-Johnson
Mariana Castro, Ph. D. is Deputy Director of the Wisconsin Center of Education Research at the University of Wisconsin Madison and a leader and researcher at WIDA, a project with the mission of advancing the academic achievement of multilingual learners. Castro has served the field of education as a science teacher, an ESL and bilingual educator and administrator, as a teacher educator and as a researcher. Her work as a qualitative researcher has focused on issues at the intersection of policy and practice in the education of multilingual learners. Castro’s research on the language practices and language development of multilingual learners has provided a foundation to her work leading the development of language standards for K-12 students and early years, in both English and Spanish. She has also participated in local and national standards committees and policy groups, including the Wisconsin’s State Superintendent’s Standards Review Council, the Wisconsin Association of Bilingual Educators and the National Dual Language Forum. Castro’s current research focuses on language practices of multilingual children and their role in literacy development. Her work with multilingual children and their educators is fueled by a strong passion and commitment to social justice, equity and inclusion in education.
Dr. Silvia Romero-Johnson is currently serving as Director of Bilingual Programs and Instructional Equity in the Verona Area School District in Verona, WI. She has served in the education field in a variety of capacities including: Interim Chief Academic Officer and Assistant Superintendent for the Office of English Learners in the Boston Public Schools in Boston MA. As the Executive Director of the Office of Multilingual and Global Education in the Madison Metropolitan School District in Madison, WI, she led the district’s transition from transitional bilingual education to dual language immersion education. She was the principal of Nuestro Mundo Community School, MMSD’s first two-way bilingual immersion charter school. Currently, her work focuses on ensuring quality and rigorous instruction for multilingual learners, supporting leaders to become equity focused instructional leaders for multilingual learning, and the strategic planning for the improvement of services and programs for English/Multilingual Learners. She is an active participant of various organizations such as the American Educational Research Association, the Dual Language Immersion Research Alliance at American Councils, and the Massachusetts Association for Bilingual Education.