EL MONTE – For 30 years, Shirpser School third-grade teacher Jose Espinoza has inspired his students to be their best selves, providing in-depth assistance to struggling students, relaying the importance of higher education and offering a friendly face for students in need of social-emotional support.

Those years of persistent excellence have earned him a Bobby Salcedo Esperanza Award, an honor given to outstanding educators who exemplify tireless commitment to education, including mentoring students and inspiring them to pursue a college education.

Espinoza was one of 3 teachers honored Dec. 12 with the award at the 16th annual Tamalada, a scholarship event hosted by the El Monte Promise foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to working with parents, schools and community groups to cultivate a college-going culture in El Monte.

Roberto “Bobby” Salcedo graduated from Mountain View High School in 1994, taught at South El Monte High School, and served as an administrator at South El Monte, Mountain View and El Monte high schools. The highly respected educator was serving on the El Monte City School District Board of Education at the time of his untimely death in 2009.

“Everything that I have done has been to promote my students’ self-worth and the potential they have to become the best they can be,” Espinoza said. “I have been able to do this because the District leaders and the principals I have worked with have supported my efforts to find ways to best help students discover and perfect their abilities.”

Espinoza has spent his entire 30 years with the El Monte City School District at Shirpser, teaching at several grade levels before shifting his focus to third grade. He also coaches students during District’s annual physical fitness tournament, Operation Tone-Up.

Shirpser sixth-grader Leshlie Francisco said Espinoza is her favorite teacher because she enjoys his funny stories, friendly attitude and inspiring spirit.

“Mr. Espinoza always tells students about how he got his degrees and where he went to college and that inspired me – I want to be a teacher just like him when I grow up,” Francisco said. “He’s also very funny and kind and he helped me so much with understanding math.”

Shirpser School Principal Veronica Ortiz said Espinoza is respected and loved by his students and their families because he encourages and inspires everyone to become outstanding community members.

Superintendent Dr. Maribel Garcia said Espinoza inspires not only students, but his colleagues across the District.

“We are very proud to have Jose Espinoza providing our community with three decades worth of amazing education and support,” Garcia said. “This award exemplifies his tireless dedication to not only boosting student achievement but empowering all students at Shirpser School.”


EMCSD_ESPINOZA1: Shirpser School teacher Jose Espinoza has spent 30 years of his El Monte City School District career empowering students with his funny, friendly attitude. Espinoza was one of 3 teachers honored Dec. 12 with the Bobby Salcedo Esperanza Award at the 16th annual Tamalada.

Shirpser School teacher Jose Espinoza is given the Bobby Salcedo Esperanza Award by Shirpser Principal Veronica Ortiz during the 16th annual Tamalada.