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Profiles of Success 2019

EXEMPLARY LEADERSHIP AWARD

Recognition for contributing a number of years to Hispanic issues, giving personal time and making a difference to the community.

Honorable Dolores Underwood Kinser

Dolores Underwood Kinser is a graduate of the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education and a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. She is a retired elementary school principal in Casa Grande. Her 40 plus years of educational experiences include elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education in California and Arizona. She has taught English in China and has worked as Host Coordinator for Central Arizona College’s International Exchange Program.

Mrs. Dolores Kinser is a retired principal. During her 12-year tenure at Palo Verde Elementary, with a predominately Hispanic population, she and her staff would create incentives to encourage students to meet or exceed their reading goals and thus improve their reading scores. One year the students read 5,153 books so that they could see their principal and PE teacher eat worms. Another year she pledged to skydive along with four of her staff members, if 80% of the student body read at home for 20 minutes daily. The students met the goal, and Mrs. Underwood Kinser was forced to jump in spite of her fear of heights. Another of her school’s accomplishments was being the only elementary school in the district that ranked highly performing. The school culture had changed to one that valued academic success.

Mrs. Kinser is a graduate of the Hispanic Leadership Institute-Pinal, a program of (LFI) Latino Familia Initiative. She was presented the Tomas Pinon HLI-Pinal Public Service Award. Dolores Kinser credits LFI for her decision to run for public office. She is in her 7th year as a Governing Board Member for the Casa Grande Elementary School District and serves as President Pro Tem.

Her involvement in various community organizations also includes Board President for the Pinal Hispanic Council, an organization that focuses on education and behavioral health. Her commitment covers 20 years of service. She is proud to be a member of the Cesar Chavez Memorial Committee of Pinal County, an affiliate of Pinal Hispanic Council. She participates in the screening and selection of approximately 50 scholarships that are awarded yearly. Her commitment has included attending honor assemblies at the local high schools to present these awards.

Dolores is Co-President of her local chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International. DKG is an organization that promotes personal and professional growth of women educators and excellence in education. She was recently awarded the Delta Kappa Gamma Omicron State 2019 Spotlight Award for her contributions to her community and to education.

Mrs. Kinser is a member of the Zonta Foundation Board. This organization empowers women and expands their access to education, health care, economic opportunities and safe living conditions. Among other responsibilities, Dolores conducts workshops for high school students on how to write scholarship applications and serves on committees to select scholarship winners for the Young Women in Public Affairs scholarships.

Mrs. Kinser is often asked to be a motivational or career speaker in the Casa Grande schools. Some of her talks promote world travel, and she was frequently accompanied by Central Arizona College’s exchange students and professors from Brazil, India, and China. Mrs. Kinser hopes to create an interest in the students to visit different countries and learn about other cultures and languages.

Dolores has accepted and created opportunities to mentor teachers, aspiring administrators, elementary, middle school, and high school students. She assists with writing speeches, reviews application forms, and facilitates mock interviews for prospective teachers and administrators. Mrs.

Kinser has a passion for helping all students, especially Hispanics. Her desire is to pay back or pass it forward for all who do not have the opportunities and support available to them. Mrs. Kinser’s mission is to be a strong advocate for education and to serve others with enthusiasm and heart.