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Noe Ortega, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, will be a 2021 Ambassador Manuel Torres Award recipient. Graphic: Maybeth Peralta/AL DÍA News. 
Noe Ortega, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, will be a 2021 Ambassador Manuel Torres Award recipient. Graphic: Maybeth Peralta/AL DÍA News. 

2021 AL DÍA Archetype: Noe Ortega

The Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Education will be the recipient of the 2021 Ambassador Manuel Torres Award in the education category.  

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The sixth annual celebration of America’s Hispanic Heritage — the 2021 AL DÍA Archetypes event — will see 10 outstanding Hispanic professionals be honored with the 2021 Ambassador Manuel Torres Award.

The honorees will be distinguished across 10 categories. They are: public service, non-profit, education, corporate, entrepreneurship, sports, performing arts, philanthropy, media and health.

This year, the honoree in the education category will be Noe Ortega, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Education. He has served in the role since June 2021, after being nominated in Oct. 2020.

Prior to his current role, Ortega served as Deputy Secretary and Commissioner for the Office of Postsecondary Higher Education (OPHE) at the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). In that role, he led the work of the agency, focusing on closing the gaps that historically underrepresented populations and communities of color in Pennsylvania have faced in attaining postsecondary education.

He also facilitated the department’s effort to improve the diversity of Pennsylvania's educator workforce, ensuring that every student in the state had access to culturally responsive-trained educators who also had culturally relevant approaches to teaching and learning in the classroom. 

Ortega’s other prior positions included a number of roles over eight years at the University of Michigan, where he also earned his Ph.D. in higher education; a P-16 Field Specialist at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and six years as program director of a language institute in Osaka, Japan, where he trained teaching in the area of early childhood language acquisition. 

He is a graduate of St. Edward’s University, earning a bachelor’s degree in political science there, before going on to earn a master’s in educational psychology from Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi.

During Hispanic Heritage Month in September, she will be honored as the 2021 AL DÍA Archetype: Ambassador Manuel Torres Award in the category of education. He will join Damian Rivera and Nathalie Rayes as three of 10 honorees at this year’s event. 

More honorees will be confirmed in the coming days and weeks ahead. 

The 2021 AL DÍA Archetype Hispanic Heritage Gala & Awards Ceremony is set for Friday, Sept. 24, 2021 at the Union League of Philadelphia. To reserve your seat at the premier celebration of America's Hispanic Heritage, click here

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