Board congratulates Josie Guillen, recepient of the 2008 NABE Para Educator Award!
Fowler School District·Josie Guillen has
been working as a para-educator in the Fowler School
District in Phoenix, Arizona for over 9years. She loves
being in a school setting and working with children. Josie
still considers herself a second language learner and feels
this helps her relate to the students she works with even
more as well as share her "learning" experiences with them!
She is able to emphasize to her students the importance of
working hard to achieve their goals and the need for a
strong education. Josie's ambition is to become an
elementary educator. She hopes one day to teach in a 1st or
2nd grade classroom. She is currently taking classes toward
her Associated Arts in Elementary Education Degree at South
Mountain Community College and plans to transfer to Arizona
State University's Teacher Education Program in Spring 2009.
Josie is the proud mother of three children: 2 daughters;
Aledys, 15; and Biana, 13; and 1 son, Jovanni, who is 12.
She has learned to juggle her responsibilities and credits
her success to the support and encouragement from her
husband, family and friends! Josie feels truly blessed that
she not only has their support but also has the opportunity
to work in a school setting and work toward accomplishing
her lifetime goal.
Bilingual group honors SMCC student
March 10, 2008
This article was submitted by Rob Price, director of
marketing and public relations at South Mountain Community
College. Send your education news to lori .firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whether her students call her "schoolteacher" or "maestra de
escuela," Josie Guillen will be ready with all the answers
to their questions - in either language.
The South Mountain Community College teacher-education
student has achieved such proficiency in communicating with
students in English and Spanish that she was this year named
Para Educator of the Year by the National Association for
Guillen was presented with the award in February at the
group's national conference in Tampa. The SMCC student needs
only two more classes to complete her associate's degree in
Guillen began working as a para educator in the Fowler
Elementary School District in west Phoenix nine years ago.
"I've always loved working in a school setting and being
around children," she says.
According to Eufemia Amabisca, one of her instructors,
Guillen is a very focused student.
"I was amazed how she could balance being a student, a mom,
and hold a full-time job and still participate in all of her
extracurricular activities," Amabisca says.
One reason for Guillen's success is that she still considers
herself a second-language learner.
"I've always felt this helps me relate to the students,
especially when I can share my own learning experiences with
them," she says.
Guillen's ambition is to become an elementary-school
educator, and she hopes to one day teach in a first- or
second-grade classroom. Upon graduation from SMCC, she plans
to enter Arizona State University's teacher-education
program in spring 2009.
"I really try to emphasize to all my students the importance
of working hard to achieve their goals, and the need for a
strong education," Guillen says.
She is the mother of three: daughters Aledys, 15, and Biana,
13, and son Jovanni, 12.
"It was hard learning to juggle my responsibilities as a
teacher, mother and student, but I was truly blessed to have
such encouragement and support from my husband, family and
friends," she says.
SMCC's award-winning Dynamic Learning teacher-education
program has seen many of its students go on to teaching
careers in the Phoenix area, many in and around the
neighborhoods in which they themselves grew up.
The program is distinguished by its hands-on, cohort
learning style. Groups of students enter the program
together and remain together throughout the two-year degree
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