COE congratulates 2020 Bilingual Teaching Scholars graduates

COE congratulates 2020 Bilingual Teaching Scholars graduates

The Bilingual Teacher Scholars program is a partnership between the College of Education and Oregon school districts intended to diversify the state teaching force.

By combining WOU and district funding, the program is able to offer financial assistance to participants along with a specially crafted education program that includes academic classes in English and Spanish, professional development events, opportunities for leadership development and networking, academic mentoring and support, and relevant training through internships and employment in partner districts.

In spring term 2020, a cohort of 18 students will graduate from the program. This is the second cohort to graduate from the program, which started in fall of 2015.

“It has been a tremendous privilege for me to work with this amazing group of scholars!” said Maria Dantas-Whitney, who coordinates the program. “Their perseverance, creativity, kindness, and commitment to serve their future bilingual students and their families are a daily source of inspiration for me. I have no doubt that they will become leaders in their districts and will transform the educational experiences of children in our state!”

The College of Education celebrates the achievements of this amazing group of educators!

Gabriela Acevedo-Solis

Major: Middle/High School Social Studies and Spanish | District: Central

I decided to go into teaching because I wanted to inspire students to think critically of the world in which we live in and wanted to support students throughout their educational journey. I feel blessed to be graduating after a long journey and grateful for all the opportunities, experiences, support, and people that impacted my journey at WOU.

Kaiana Bradley

Major: Early Childhood/Elementary | District: Corvallis

I wanted to be a teacher to work with children and to help them see all that they can be, do, and achieve. Now that I am graduating I am excited to put that plan into action.

Sophia Chavez Chica

Major: Middle/High School Spanish | District: Salem-Keizer

I became an educator because I truly believe that education is a powerful tool that can be exercised to impact our world in a positive way. Not only do I love the subject that I teach but I love that I support my learners in their growth and achievement of their goals. I am excited to graduate and to teach Spanish at McNary High School next fall. ¡Gracias a mis profesores, mentores, a mi familia, y a dios por esta bendición!

Estefania Cortez Rosas

Major: Early Childhood/Elementary | District: Salem-Keizer

I chose to become a teacher to make a difference in the lives of children. Teachers have the potential to inspire and I want to be that person children can lean on for motivation or advice. Graduating is an accomplishment I am very proud of. I am excited about the future now that I have a career I love.

Lory Cruz-Esquivel

Major: Middle/High School Language Arts

I decided to go into teaching because I have a passion for serving my community. My teaching journey actually started when I was an after school volunteer tutor for a high school and ever since then, I have been involved in education. I am thankful for the teacher preparation I have gotten through WOU and the Bilingual Teacher Scholars programs that I know will make me a great teacher.

Though graduation is about a month away it has still not hit me yet, but once the date starts to come around I know that I will be excited to know that I will be accomplishing my goal and can start looking forward to my first year teaching.

Daniela Diaz-Rodriguez

Major: Early Childhood/Elementary | District: Central

I got into teaching because throughout my school years I always had wonderful teachers. I also saw how impactful this job can be to so many young people. I am so excited to be graduating because it is a huge accomplishment for me and my family.

Eden Flores

Major: Early Childhood/Elementary | District: Salem-Keizer

I knew I wanted to be a teacher after taking a teacher cadet class in high school taught by one of my favorite teachers, Mrs. Mba. Growing up I also had a lot of amazing teachers who supported me in many ways, and the idea of returning the favor to children in my community motivated me to pursue a career in education. After all the long nights of homework and long study sessions with my friends, I feel so excited to see all of my work pay off and to finally be graduating.

Sierra Fresh

Major: Early Childhood/Elementary | District: Hillsboro

I decided to become an educator because I have seen the incredible impact teachers have in the lives of their students. I know that I have become the person I am today in part because of the amazing educators that have invested in my life! While I am sad to be leaving WOU and the community I have here, I am so excited to begin my career and create a safe community for my future students.

Nereida Garcia

Major: Early Childhood/Elementary | District: Central

I had an amazing teaching my third grade year that showed me how it feels to be appreciated and respected. She taught with so much love and dedication and it changed how I saw school. She impacted my life and I will always be grateful for teachers. I just want to be that for my future kiddos.

I remember freshman year when I cried to my advisor as I saw how many classes I still had to take. 5 years later, I can't believe I'm going to finally graduate. If it wasn't for my parents sacrifices and support I wouldn't be where I am today. This isn't my graduation and degree, it's ours, mom and dad.

Madison Johnston

Major: Early Childhood | District: Hillsboro

I am so excited to be graduating and can't wait to start my career as an educator! I got into education because I saw all of the opportunities that my education has afforded me and I had some amazing educators in my life and I want to be able to provide that for others.

I want my classroom to be a safe space for my students to grow as people, to learn, and to feel supported and loved no matter what. I'm going to miss WOU, Monmouth, and all of the amazing people that I have met here so much, and I am so grateful for all that WOU has given me.

Kim Lemus

Major: Elementary/Middle/High School Math | District: Hillsboro

I never really knew what I wanted to be once I was older, I just know that I love helping. I see teaching as a work of art, everyone is a different artist and every painting (classroom) speaks to each student in a different way. I want to make my classroom as welcoming and as comfortable as possible because in order for students to learn, they must know that it is a safe environment. I am excited to be a Spanish math teacher next year at South Meadows Middle School.

Jose Magana

Major: Early Childhood/Elementary

I began my journey into teaching through volunteering for Capital Community Television where I worked as the station's cameraman for Salem-Keizer School Board meetings, almost 8 years ago. I became interested, imagining I could be a voice for many of these students and families whose stories were being told; and after about a year or so, I decided to enroll in an introduction to education course at Chemeketa Community College.

Long story short: the rest is history. After 5 years, I'm relieved that my college experience is coming to a close. While I enjoyed much of my time at Chemeketa and Western, and am ecstatic to accomplish something I hadn't dreamed of doing growing up, I'm ready to put my backpack down for the last time and get to work.

Sabrina Mateo

Major: Middle/High School Language Arts | District: Salem-Keizer

Ever since I was in middle school, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. Being surrounded and encouraged by amazing teachers throughout school had inspired me to want to be a role model in my community. Previous teachers had worked hard to help me get to where I am, and I cannot wait to now be a helping hand in many students’ lives.

Guadalupe Mendez

Major: Middle/High School Language Arts

As a teacher, there's an opportunity to make an impact in their lives and it is the greatest learning experience. My greatest aspiration is to be that person that can motivate them to be better and to achieve their dreams by bridging education into their life. I am eager to contribute positively towards the education of the next generation of my community. To be graduating feels a little surreal for many reasons but I am expectant of the next season of my life.

Cinthya Murguia

Major: Early Childhood/Elementary

As I grew up in school, I remember thinking to myself “why aren't there teachers that look like me?” I felt like my culture wasn't being represented and it made me more shy. I enjoyed my time at school, but I knew that there needed to be more teachers who were bilingual and bicultural! After volunteering and taking education courses, I developed a love for teaching children. I know that this career will be so rewarding and I am excited to begin this new chapter in my life!

Mara Belén Tencos Mendoza

Major: Middle/High School Spanish | District: Hillsboro

‘If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, it goes to his heart.’ – Nelson Mandela

Maria Victoria Guijon

Major: Early Childhood/Elementary | District: Salem-Keizer

Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted to become a teacher because I had great teachers along my education experience who inspired me to someday be able to help everyone and help them overcome their obstacles just like myself. I want to become a bilingual teacher because I want to be able to help support everyone and help them overcome all of their obstacles.

Going into school without knowing any English was frightening and very difficult for me and I can't imagine how every student who comes into school not knowing the language feels, probably similar to how I felt when I was younger. I want to be the teacher who they can go to if they are having trouble, I want to help them overcome any obstacles similar to the ones I went through and I want them to know that they are not alone and that everything they strive for they can accomplish, I want to change lives. That is the reason I am becoming a teacher.

Jessica Zamarron

Major: Early Childhood/Elementary | District: Salem-Keizer

I knew I wanted to be a teacher since I was in first grade. My first grade teacher was an amazing educator and I always aspired to be like her. I truly enjoy working with young students and watching them grow academically. Helping them reach their academic goals is something that is so rewarding. It is an honor to be graduating and to work alongside amazing educators.