Nebraska Notable Latinos
Gutierrez, Jennie (1924-). Educator Jennie Gutierrez was born in Hershey, Nebraska. Her parents came to Nebraska from Guanajuato, Mexico, to work in the sugar beet fields. At an early age, Gutierrez became an informal community translator. She graduated from Lexington High School in 1935. In 1944 she earned a teaching degree and pursued a career in education. In 1985 she received the Nebraska Hispanic Woman Award. After teaching in Lexington for nearly 50 years, Gutierrez retired in 1989. Throughout her career she promoted equality in education for all students. After her retirement she continued to serve her community by teaching English as a second language. She served as a member of the Lexington School Board and as a commissioner for the Nebraska Mexican American Commission. Jennie currently lives in Lexington, where she continues to provide support and assistance to migrants.
Aguilar, Ray (1947-). A third-generation Mexican American, State Senator Ray Aguilar is the first Latino elected to the Nebraska State Legislature. Representing the 35th district, he was appointed to the legislature in 1999 to replace Chris Peterson. Mr. Aguilar won the election in 2000, and he was reelected in 2004. Born in Grand Island, Nebraska, Senator Aguilar’s Mexican heritage can be traced back to his grandfather, who was a resident of Guanajuato, Mexico. Aguilar is a member of the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee and of the Gender and Minority Equity Committee. Additionally, he serves as the chairperson of the Government, Military, and Veteran Affairs Committee. As a state senator representing a large constituency of Latinos, Senator Aguilar works tirelessly to address issues both on the local and on the state levels.