- Fort Bend ISD
We salute FBISD Chief Communications Officer Veronica Sopher during National Hispanic Heritage Month (10/8/2021)
Fort Bend ISD (Oct. 8, 2021) - As Fort Bend ISD continues to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, Chief Communications Officer Veronica V. Sopher shared her story of growing up as a Mexican American in the Midwest, the historic journey of her ancestors, and the inspiration of her family.
“My family emigrated from Mexico outrunning Pancho Villa during the Mexican Revolution in 1916,” Sopher said. “They were recruited to work by the Santa Fe Railroad, settled in Kansas and became part of the High Plains landscape.”
Though Sopher’s family is from Kansas, she was born in Amarillo when her parents were in Texas for a short time before her dad was accepted to law school back in Kansas. She was raised in Houston, but she said, “Kansas was always the family’s home base and every holiday and summer were spent there.”
Sopher described the Midwestern Latino experience as being significantly different from the experiences of the California migrant worker, Tejano vaquero, or the East Coast Caribbean immigrant. She feels strongly connected to her family’s deep roots in Kansas.
"Until roughly 1975, Mexican immigrants were the only minority group in Kansas,” Sopher said. “They faced challenges but prospered as a community and that gives me a great sense of pride. Shortly after the fall of Saigon, another minority group arrived when there was an influx of Vietnamese immigrants in Kansas.”
When asked about the Mexican-American culture, Sopher said, “We are a people of great pride and we value family and community above everything else. I have truly warm memories of growing up with my large family which includes 50 first cousins. Family gatherings were filled with food, laughter, music and lots of running around.”
Sopher was inspired by each of her grandparents. They all had a powerful story of hope, courage, and a deep love for God and family.
“They did everything and more to create a better life for their children and their grandchildren,” she said. “It is something I remind myself of nearly every day. They have all passed on now, but they live with me always.”
Sopher earned a degree in journalism and public relations from the University of North Texas. Before joining FBISD, she served in Leander ISD for seven years as the Assistant Superintendent of Community and Governmental Relations, and later as Chief Communications Officer. She started her career in school public relations as the Director of Communications in Arlington ISD 18 years ago. Sopher has earned numerous awards, led national award-winning teams, and currently serves as president of the Texas School Public Relations Association (TSPRA).
“Hispanic Heritage Month is a wonderful opportunity to share the many colors, foods, music, art, and stories that are the fabric of our culture,” Sopher said. “I love Fort Bend ISD because we each have a story and a culture to share and everyone wants to learn and grow from it. Diversity is celebrated here in ways that it is not in other communities, and it just makes us stronger!”