Phoenix, Arizona , United States
|Last Modifed||Thomas Walker|
Feb 21, 2007 11:47am
|Info||A Phoenix native, Laura Pastor is a fifth generation Arizonan, who |
graduated from St. Mary’s High School, and received a Bachelor of Arts
degree in Education from Arizona State University. For four years, Laura
taught junior high students at the Roosevelt and Isaac School Districts.
During that time, she created a volunteer program to provide after-school
tutoring, and authored an accountability program for teachers, students,
Currently, Laura serves as the Director of the nationally recognized
Achieving a College Education Program (ACE) at South Mountain Community
College. ACE is dedicated to assisting students’ transition from high school
through community college and on to earning a bachelor’s degree. Laura
oversees all fiscal and administrative management of the program including
the coordination, implementation, and outreach of ACE initiatives. She is
charged with creating partnerships between national, state, and municipal
agencies as well as private sector organizations.
In 2003, Laura became Special Assistant to the Arizona Director of
Insurance. She assisted with legislative matters, rules, and constituent
activities, as well as represented the Director of Insurance on various
boards and commissions and conducted special research projects.
Additionally, she designed a consumer awareness program for teenagers,
the elderly and Hispanic constituencies embodied in Auto Insurance 101,
Health Care and Home Insurance. In 2004, Laura joined the Department of
Employment and Rehabilitation Services at the Arizona Department of
Economic Security (DES) as a training coordinator. She worked on several
departmental programs including the Service Initiative, the Aging Initiative,
and also evaluated contractors engaged with the agency.
In 1999, Laura was selected as one of 30 participants in the National Urban
and Rural Fellowship. She attended a master’s program at Baruch
College's School of Public Affairs, City University of New York. As part of this
program, Laura relocated to Chicago for her master’s practicum with the
Board of Education at Chicago Public Schools. There she organized the
National Conference for the White House Initiative on Educational
Excellence for Hispanic Americans in Chicago and designed and
implemented Theater in Public Schools. She also participated in the
creation of the Global Educators Outreach.
In August 2000, Laura received her Master of Public Administration degree
and joined the City of Chicago’s Office of Language and Cultural Education
as the project director for Mayor Richard M. Daley’s innovative initiative
Museums and Public Schools (MAPS). She was responsible for a new
partnership between nine world class museums and Chicago Public
Schools. Laura administered the operating budget and collaborated with
museum presidents, board members, and non-profit organizations to
continue the expansion of this program. MAPS served over 10,000
students in grades 2nd through 6th.
She is a board member the Encanto Village Planning Committee and is a
former member of the Hispanic Advisory Board of Maricopa Community
Colleges, the Homeless Task Force, and Phoenix Day.
She resides in Phoenix with her husband, Henry Cotto, a former major
league baseball player and current minor league coach. They have three
children, Henry Jr., Claudia, and Eduardo.
Laura is the daughther of U.S. Congressman Ed Pastor and Verma Mendez
Pastor, former director of bilingual education for the Arizona Department of Education.