Interview with Mª José Ramírez Galán, president of the school’s AMPA

Married and mother of two teenage children, María José Ramírez Galán has a degree in Social Education, but a portfolio by profession. She likes to go out into the countryside, travel, read… and get involved in education through the AMPA of the Nuestra Señora de las Nieves school.

Since the 18/19 course

How and why did you become president?

Well, I arrived almost on the rebound, because the person who chaired the board of directors, to which I already belonged, had to leave the position. Among the rest of the members it was decided that I would be the leader, but with the condition of always working as a team. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have dared.

In what year was the AMPA founded?

The association was founded in 1976, with Sebastián Guerrero as the first president and Mª del Carmen Amador as director of the school.

Who are the members of the board of directors and what functions do they have?

The members of the current board of directors are Mª José Ramírez, president; Mª José Trinidad, vice president; Moisés Barrero, secretary; Pedro Trinidad, treasurer, and Manoli Cerrato, Esther Gómez, Manuel Prieto, Juana Catalina Tejada, Santos Trinidad, Nuria Galán and Juan Diego García, members.

What are the main objectives of the association?

The main objective is to ensure the well-being of the boys and girls and the entire educational community, that is, to maintain a good relationship between children, families and school.

What activities do they usually – or used to before the pandemic – carry out systematically throughout the course?

We usually carry out different activities during the school year. Some of a general nature for the entire school, such as migas in San Martín, collaboration with the school magazine, talks aimed at families, or participation in the Christmas nativity scene. Others, only for members: welcome party, English or music workshops, sports gatherings, both recreational and cultural excursions. In addition, we collect requests from families that we transfer to the School Council, the Center Management or even the Department of Education, if necessary.

How many families are part of the group?

About 140, approximately.

What general opinion do you have of the students’ families regarding their participation in the life of the school?

From what I have been able to verify, fathers and mothers are always willing to participate with their children in everything we propose. There have never been problems due to lack of collaboration from parents, especially mothers.

Term ends soon. Will it be presented again?

This is my last year, because my daughter will say goodbye to school in June, so I cannot introduce myself. From here I encourage the rest of the parents to form a new team for the next courses.

What aspects of the school’s operation do you think could be improved?

I think that, in general, the operation is good. If a problem arises, families can contact the tutors, the management team or the AMPA, to try to resolve it. Everything is easier when there is good communication.

The biggest problem lies, without a doubt, in the facilities, which are crying out for the change to the new ‘school’.

What are the main difficulties or problems that the association encounters?

I think that everything related to bureaucracy. The ‘formalities’ of the paperwork cannot be carried out if there is not a minimum of administrative knowledge, taking into account that the association is made up of very diverse people.

What is your opinion of the construction and upcoming opening of the new school?

We are all looking forward to releasing it. Many years of fighting in favor of the new school are behind us. Now, finally, it is a reality.

Do you have any professional or financial help?

The AMPA works with the annual fee of member families and the subsidies it receives from the City Council and the Government of Extremadura, as long as the activity projects presented to both organizations are approved. In the professional section we can resort to FREAPA if necessary.

What memories would you be left with after these years?

On some occasions with a certain feeling of uncertainty about possible successes or mistakes that we could have made; in others, with discomfort in front of a speaker due to the low attendance of the public at a given talk.

But, in general, I am left with positive memories, even more so when you receive the gratitude of the families after participating in any of the organized activities.

Do you want to add anything else?

I would like to thank all the families for their trust in us and, personally, the board of directors for their teamwork. It has been a pleasure to share this experience with all of them. Finally, I would like to encourage all fathers and mothers to continue this beautiful work.

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