Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Martha Tevis

Second Advisor

Dr. Anita Pankake

Third Advisor

Dr. Miguel de los Santos


This paper addresses the accomplishments of Melissa Dotson Betts, Emilia Schunior Ramírez, Estella Minerva Cuéllar, and Silvina Solís Hinojosa, in the field of education in the South Texas Rio Grande Valley. The paper reflects the difficulties encountered by women rising to challenges in education from the 1930s until the present day, and examines legislative actions that served as the impetus for allowing all of these women to excel in the area of educational leadership. The salary discrepancies Melissa Dotson Betts suffered in the Edinburg CISD because she was an African American were investigated, along with her mentoring of African American students in the Edinburg CISD. This paper sheds light on Emilia Schunior Ramírez‘ role as both an administrator for the Roma Independent School District and later, as an assistant professor of Spanish at Pan American College, currently known as The University of Texas-Pan American. Estella Minerva Cuéllar‘s contributions as a member of the McAllen School Board as a classroom teacher in the McAllen ISD, and also as a teacher in a country school south of Donna called Weber, which no longer exists, are chronicled. Lastly, but no less important, Silvina Solís Hinojosa‘s contributions she has made as a teacher and as a Director within the La Joya Independent School District and as a board member of the Rio Grande Consolidated Independent School District and as a participant in the acquisition of a hospital facility in Rio Grande City are presented. This research contributes to the body of knowledge about minority women from the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas who were involved with the education of minority and economically disadvantaged students. Beyond this task, the research enables minority teachers to understand the importance of serving as role models and mentors for educational leadership within the South Texas Rio Grande Valley.


Copyright 2010 Kathleen Neal Carroll. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American