Dr. Eugenia Favela was born in Tucson, Arizona and raised in Nogales, Arizona. She graduated from Nogales High School and received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona in secondary education; she is also certified in elementary education. She received a Master’s degree in Special Education from the University of Arizona. Dr. Favela received a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in the Department of Language, Reading, and Culture. Her research interests are in the areas of second language acquisition and the development of bilingualism and biliteracy.
Dr. Favela has been an educator for over 30 years, with 29 years in the Sunnyside Unified School District. Her previous roles have included serving as a regular education teacher, bilingual education teacher, bilingual special education teacher, district diagnostician, and as coordinator of Bilingual Special Education referrals. She is fully bilingual in English and Spanish (both oral and written skills) and uses her bilingual skills every day.
Dr. Favela has been a Central Office administrator since 1995, serving as the Director of the Department of Language Acquisition and Development for Sunnyside School District. For the last seven years, she has served as the Assistant Superintendent for Student Services in Sunnyside.
Genie has also championed the District’s efforts for student and employee wellness. She works diligently to support school nurses, as well as district and school activities that promote greater physical activities and nutrition education. She is part of the District Wellness Group, comprising both district and community representatives.
Another major activity for Dr. Favela is her collaboration with the Pima County Juvenile Court Center (PCJCC). This collaborative group includes members of PCJCC, school districts, law enforcement, and other service agencies, all working together for the goal of reducing the disproportionate number of minority students involved with the juvenile justice system.
Genie has a great passion for music. Working with the mariachi groups from both Desert View and Sunnyside High School, Genie developed a CD entitled “Una Familia,” which includes classic Mexican selections. This CD was used to raise money for student scholarships, through the Sunnyside Alumni Association. In 2011, Genie was inducted into the Sunnyside Alumni Association Hall of Fame.