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2016 Bilingual Educator of the Year - California

Mayra Salguero

Third grade dual-language teacher of Edmonson Elementary, Mayra Salguero, was named the 2016 Read Conmigo Bilingual Educator of the Year in California. Salguero received over 19,000 votes nationwide for her dedication to bilingual literacy. The award was presented by surprise during the end-of-year assembly at Edmondson Elementary in Norwalk, California.

“I was surprised and happy to share this with my students, parents and the whole community,” Salguero said. “It makes me proud to be a Hispanic woman earning this award and that I am able to make a difference in the community. It shows my students that they can be successful too.”

Salguero’s passion for helping bilingual students comes from her own experience growing up. Although she was born in the Unites States, she grew up in Mexico. By the time she returned to the U.S. in middle school, she had forgotten how to speak and write in English.

“I felt like I was starting from zero – I couldn’t communicate, I felt lost and it was such a hard time for me that I was discouraged,” Salguero said. “But I had a dream to become someone to make a difference in my community.”

Salguero yearned to provide students the educational opportunities that she didn’t have. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies and a Spanish minor from California State University, Long Beach. She also attained a bilingual, crosscultural, language and development credential in Spanish.

Since 2004, Salguero has served the Norwalk- La Mirada Unified School District as a dual-language teacher at Edmondson Elementary. During her 12 years of teaching, she has been instrumental in promoting the value of a second language to over 300 students, including newcomers from Mexico and El Salvador. Through her personal experience and preparation, she is now able to help them learn English and adapt to American culture.

“They can enjoy learning because I give them a way to communicate with me and ask me questions in Spanish and English, something that I wasn’t able to do in school,” Salguera said.

“Hopefully, I can be a model for my students to look up to and I can help my students feel that they can be successful here."

Salguero also brings in her love of the visual and performing arts into her curriculum. Students can learn Latin culture through plays, dances, and music.

“Mrs. Salguero is a treasure to have as a staff member and teacher,” said fellow dual-language teacher Loren Aguirre. “Mrs. Salguero is a wonderful inspiration to our students. She gives them the confidence to enjoy learning and see that being bilingual is a strength,” Superintendent Dr. Hasmik Danielian said. “We are so proud to have her as a teacher in our District. She serves as a leader in her community inside and outside of the classroom.”

Read Conmigo is proud to recognize Mayra Salguero as the first Read Conmigo Bilingual Educator of the Year and we wish her even greater success as she continues her teaching career.

Source: Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District