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Head Start Teacher Represents Finest Among El Paso Area Educators


Esther Monarrez, a teacher of three year-olds at James R. Vasquez Head Start, was selected as a top finalist for the 2016 University of Texas at El Paso ABC Schwartz Novice Teacher Award.

The Schwartz Novice Teacher Award recognizes professionalism and excellence in teaching in teachers who positively impact their school, parents, and students.

“We were so proud and excited to see one of our own being acknowledged in this way,” says James R. Vasquez Center Manager, Herlinda Navarro. “Our Head Start teachers are among the hardest working and dedicated teachers. [Monarrez] is a prime example of that. She’s very knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and loved by her students their parents, and the staff. For her to accomplish so much while she was still in college, teaching, and being a mother is a truly remarkable thing.”

Monarrez, was recommended for the award by her mentor, Veronica Carrillo. A proud mother of a four year- old son, Diego, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Texas, El Paso in 2010 and has been a teacher at Head start for four years. Monarrez was the only Early Childhood Educator among the top finalists for the 2016 Schwartz Award.

“I love children at this age,” says Monarrez. “I’ve wanted to be a teacher my whole life. Now, seeing their smiling faces every day brightens my heart no matter what’s going on in my life- their happiness and success is the greatest recognition I could ever receive.”

Monarrez plans to return to school to get her master’s degree in social work, but says she has no intention of leaving her beloved Head Start family any time soon. “I have thought about transitioning to the public schools but I feel I belong here at Head Start right now,” says Monarrez. “My goal for next year is to move up to the four- year old classrooms. Every year children learn more and I’ve loved working with the three year-olds, teaching them to write and recognize letters and sounds. Now I want to continue the next step of the journey with them and teach them to read.”

Monarrez has been invited to present her expertise as an Early Childhood Educator at a concurrent 2016 session by the Dean of the College of Education at the University of Texas, El Paso.





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