Edmondson Elementary School dual-language teacher Mayra Salguero has been awarded the Read Conmingo Bilingual Educator of the Year award for her dedication to helping students speak and read in English and Spanish and learn Latin culture through art, music and dance. The award came with a $200 prize to use toward school supplies and a free book for each student.
“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.”
Her passion for helping students learn Spanish and English comes from her own challenge in overcoming language barriers. Salguero was born in the United States and moved to Mexico when she was in kindergarten. When she returned to the U.S. in the sixth grade, she didn’t understand any 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 started taking Spanish classes in high school and aspired to work with kids to give them the educational opportunities that she didn’t have. She continued her education at Cal State Long Beach, earning a Bachelors in liberal studies with a Spanish minor, and obtained her bilingual, cross-cultural, language and academic development credential in Spanish.
Her teaching career began at Norwalk-La Mirada Unified in 2004 at Edmondson, where she continues to be a dual-language teacher. She sees students having the same experience as her – newcomers from Mexico and El Salvador who cannot speak English and are trying to adjust to American culture. Except this time, she is able to provide them a way to enjoy English, Spanish and school.
“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 integrates visual and performing arts into her curriculum, with students learning Latin culture through art, music and dance. Parent are able to stay involved in their children’s education by participating as volunteers in yearly events, such as helping with costumes for plays and performances and sharing their culture.
“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.”
NLMUSD_DUALIMMERSION1: Edmondson Elementary School dual-language teacher Mayra Salguero (second from right) is awarded Read Conmingo’s Bilingual Educator of the Year Award, receiving a $200 prize to use toward school supplies and a free book for each student.
NLMUSD_DUALIMMERSION2: Edmondson Elementary School dual-language teacher Mayra Salguero’s students rush to congratulate her at the school’s third-grade awards ceremony for being awarded the Read Conmingo’s Bilingual Educator of the Year Award.