If you’ve watched the Emmy-winning show, Breaking Bad, then you know actor Steven Michael Quezada. He plays DEA Agent Steven Gomez on the AMC television series. So, why would Quezada be a featured speaker at the Indiana Charter Schools Conference and Expo November 12?
Because Quezada’s children attend a public charter school in Albuquerque, and he has become a passionate voice for chartering and education reform. He served as Vice President of the Governing Council for the Public Academy for the Performing Arts (PAPA) charter school in Albuquerque New Mexico during its initial years. (See October 30 New Mexico blogpost with pictures of PAPA student performers!) Then, as a life-long resident of New Mexico, he was elected to the Albuquerque Public Schools board of education, a charter school authorizer, where he currently serves.
In addition, Quezeda spends time speaking around the country about chartered schools when his filming schedule allows it. What an honor for me to share the stage with him at the Indiana Charter Schools Conference as keynote speakers. I found him very humble and approachable.
My thanks to Kevin Davis and Alexis Crouch and the Indiana Public Charter Schools Association for the opportunity to share the pioneering charter school story, and for providing Zero Chance of Passage to conference attendees gathered at the stadium home of the Indianapolis Colts. I remember traveling to Indianapolis over a decade ago to support Mayor Bart Peterson as he led the way to bring chartered schools to his city after the Indiana charter school law passed in 2001. Mayor Peterson and his aide, David Harris, were colleagues of mine at the Democratic Leadership Council and we toured together the first three charter schools to open in their city. Both were true pioneers in recognizing the importance of chartering and strong public education for a vibrant city economy and quality of life. They were breaking barriers, just as the charter school leaders of Indiana continue to break barriers every day!