My parents brought me to the United States when I was 10 years old. Like the millions of immigrants who leave their homes, my parents were willing to work hard for little pay because it meant their children would receive a better education. For a period of time, mom worked as a restaurant hostess and dad as a dishwasher—all because they wanted my brothers and me to have a decent chance at success.
Even though middle school and high school were difficult for me because English was my second language, I was blessed with amazing teachers.
I remember my 6th grade EL teacher. We had a hard time pronouncing her name so she told us to just call her “Mrs. Watermelon” (she always wore watermelon earrings). Every few days she would meet with me during her lunch so we could read picture books together. That’s how I first learned to read in English.
I remember Mr. Cobos, my 7th grade History teacher. Even though my English vocabulary was limited, his class was always engaging because of his energy and passion for History. Mr. Cobos took a few minutes throughout the day to check in with me in Spanish. History came alive for me that year.
I remember Mrs. Sharpie, my 9th grade Honors English teacher. I had the crazy idea to join an Honors English class even though I had only been in the US for four years. Mrs. Sharpie knew this, and rather than discouraging me from taking the class, she supported me every step of the way. One of my happiest moments in high school was when I received a Student of the Month Award from Mrs. Sharpie. She believed in me and that year I began to truly believe in myself.
I am sure I would not have become a successful classroom teacher without the love and dedication of all my teachers. Their sacrifice ignited a fire in me to help others. And so, like them, I became a teacher, dedicated to inspiring and empowering my students.
Like Mrs. Watermelon, I care for the whole child. I too open my classroom door during lunch for my students. Like Mr. Cobos, I always bring positive energy to my classroom, even when I am having a rough day. Like Mrs. Sharpie, I set high standards for my students but never leave any student behind. Some students enter my classroom feeling like no one believes in them, but all students leave my classroom knowing that Mr. Armendariz is rooting for them every step of the way.
It is with that same heart and passion that I have decided to run for school board. After having taught for nearly a decade and having earned a Master’s Degree in Education, I am ready to give back to my community in greater ways. I am ready to fight on behalf of ALL children in our community so that they get a fair chance at success.
Please consider getting involved in the following ways: