Estella Almanza
Professional Research Assistant • E3 Project Director
BUENO Center

Estella is a first-generation college student born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. She came to Colorado in 1989 as a special education teacher to pursue doctoral studies. Her association with the BUENO Center for Multicultural Education began in 1990 as a Title VII Fellow under Dr. Ofelia Miramontes and Dr. Leonard Baca's tutelage. 

Her undergraduate and graduate work in Elementary and Special Education are foundational to her doctoral studies in Equity, Bilingualism, and Biliteracy at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The merging of her expertise in special education with cultural and linguistic diversity provides insight into making decisions regarding student evaluations and assessments, informing conversations about equity and social justice. 

Estella has been part of grant writing teams and the field coordination of data collection, analysis, and reporting working alongside classroom teachers and principal investigators. Further, she brings first-hand experience teaching in public schools across the elementary, middle, high school, and university settings. Her research areas have included:

  • Bilingualism and language development.
  • Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS).
  • Strategic Reading comprehension.
  • Native and English language literacy development.
  • Bilingual/ESL Special Education


1999 PhD Education: Equity, Bilingualism & Biliteracy 

University of CO Boulder   

1989 MS Special Education        

University of Texas Dallas 

1985 BS    Elementary Education, Special Education

University of Texas- Rio Grande Valley