EL MONTE – Fernando R. Ledesma High School Opportunity teacher Patty Autran’s love for teaching began as a third-grade student when she – the only Spanish-speaking student in class – was asked by her teacher to help an English learner who had just joined the class.

Autran, however, put her teaching dreams on hold after high school to serve in the United States Air Force, an experience that has greatly shaped her teaching philosophy. There, she learned the importance of structure and discipline, how strength comes through unity, and to never leave anyone behind – values that Autran brings to her classroom every day.

For her commitment to helping Ledesma most vulnerable students achieve their academic and personal goals, Autran has been selected as El Monte Union’s 2020-21 Teacher of the Year. She accepted her award during the District’s virtual Opening of Schools program on Aug. 17.

“I constantly strive to provide my students with a sense of belonging, a sense of security, the absolute certainty they are cared for and the knowledge that they are amazing human beings with so much to contribute,” Autran said. “I feel so grateful to have had a chance to work with them and all of my colleagues these past years. I want to thank everyone who has allowed me to realize my dream of teaching.”

Autran arrived to El Monte Union in 2000 as a substitute teacher and began teaching U.S. History at El Monte-Rosemead Adult School in 2001. After earning her single subject credential at Cal Poly Pomona in 2008, Autran was hired serve as a teacher in Ledesma’s Opportunity Program, which helps students successfully complete their high school requirements, improve their attendance and gain motivational and self-esteem skills.

“Patty Autran has a natural ability to win over students regardless of their background,” Superintendent Dr. Edward Zuniga said. “She brings so much devotion and energy to her students and has demonstrated dynamic instructional strategies that deeply influence her student’s ability to learn and succeed. She is an inspiration to all of us at El Monte Union, where we strive to provide our students compassion and support and work to never leave anyone behind.”


090820_EMUHSD_AUTRAN: Fernando R. Ledesma High School Opportunity teacher Patty Autran, who has spent 20 years of her educational career at El Monte Union, has been named the District’s 2020-21 Teacher of the Year.