Pittsburg Pride Posts

  • Pittsburg Pride Post: Ernestina Chamorro, Parent Liaison

    Posted by Nicole Mora on 2/24/2021

    WHY DO YOU HAVE PITTSBURG PRIDE?

    As a member of this great and diverse community, I am proud of the resiliency that our community has developed. Regardless of challenges, Pittsburg community members unite to overcome adversity.

    Enestina

    WHY PITTSBURG? HOW IS PITTSBURG DIFFERENT FROM OTHER COMMUNITIES?

    Pittsburg has adopted me and therefore it is my home. I will always do what is needed to support our families. Pittsburg’s families have demonstrated faith in our schools, shown their enthusiasm, dedication, and collaboration to help us grow and become one community and that marks the difference from other communities.

     

    WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO WORK IN PITTSBURG?

    My children were raised in Pittsburg and they attended Pittsburg schools. Prior to working for PUSD, I was a parent volunteer for many years. Through my volunteering work, I became aware of the community’s needs and when the opportunity to serve the Pittsburg community came up, I took on my work commitment with pride. Working in Pittsburg was a good decision and has been a great way to give back to community that I respect and love!

     
    WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?

    By nature, I have a collaborative heart and am passionate to help others. I want to help bring significant positive changes to someone’s life. My job as Parent and Family Liaison requires me to have that kind of spirit and heart, so it is a perfect fit. My job is all about helping, supporting, advocating, and making changes in people’s homes. The experiences and outcomes I witness help keep me inspired and committed to do my job.

     

    HOW DO YOU INSPIRE OTHERS?

    I inspire others through my dedication, enthusiasm, and by having a positive attitude. Through the facilitation of different workshops within the district, parents can see my genuineness. I empower them to learn more about the school system, and I share how to advocate for their student, to make sure they succeed academically and socially in our schools.

    Ernestina  

    WHAT IS MOST REWARDING ABOUT YOUR TIME AT PUSD?

    The daily interaction with PUSD families has helped me grow and expand in other areas. Troubleshooting parent issues and bringing them solutions matters to me. I have also created meaningful relationships with the families I serve and coworkers throughout the district.

     

    ANYTHING YOU WANT TO ADD?

    It is a pleasure serving PUSD families, and I will continue with my dedication, like if my time will never end.

    Comments (-1)
  • Pittsburg Pride Post: Abraham Abullarade, Full Service Community School Site Coordinator

    Posted by Nicole Mora on 1/13/2021

    WHY DO YOU HAVE PITTSBURG PRIDE?

    As a resident of Contra Costa County, I am proud to work in a city and school district that cares deeply about ensuring equity and academic excellence through a whole child approach. I am deeply grateful to be part of the Pittsburg “village” that cultivates a culture where students are empowered to become the future community leaders here in the local area.

    Abraham

    WHY PITTSBURG? HOW IS PITTSBURG DIFFERENT FROM OTHER COMMUNITIES?

    Pittsburg is distinct from other communities through its deep sense of legacy and pride. After starting with PUSD I immediately noticed how the community works together for collective impact. Everyone bands together to ensure that we achieve our mission of creating life-long learners who contribute positively to the world. The sense of pride in Pittsburg also gives it a distinct flavor and is made evident by the generations of families who are rooted in the city and work towards a flourishing and vibrant community.

     

    WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO WORK IN PITTSBURG?

    I have been passionate about the Community Schools initiative for more than 10 years and have seen the model in several school districts in the Bay Area. Pittsburg showed me the power of community in Community Schools through its diverse, united, and resilient students, families, educators, and community members.

     
    WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?

    The relationships that I have made within the PUSD family is what I love most about my job. Through my co-workers I have learned that life-long learning is not just a goal for our students but also something we encourage amongst each other. I have also been fortunate enough to be around people who love 90’s Hip Hop and R&B as much as I do and enjoy a good laugh.

     

    HOW DO YOU INSPIRE OTHERS?

    Growing up, I had positive mentors who were quick to point out my strengths and gifts even when I didn’t see them in myself. That fuels me to celebrate the successes of others and identify the potential I see in our students. I also draw plenty of inspiration from my co-workers, students, wife and daughter!

    Young Men of Purpose (YMP) mentoring program at Highlands Elementary  

    WHAT IS MOST REWARDING ABOUT YOUR TIME AT PUSD?

    The most rewarding aspect so far has been my role in the inaugural Young Men of Purpose (YMP) mentoring program at Highlands Elementary. The program focuses on character, citizenship, and academics and aims to inspire young men to effectively manage their lives, overcome obstacles, and pursue their goals. Our sessions would be the highlight of my week as the group engaged in community building activities and discussed successes and challenges. The spontaneous visits from former YMP students and their parents have also impressed upon me that PUSD is a family where we encourage each other.

     

    ANYTHING YOU WANT TO ADD?

    It is a tremendous privilege and honor to work at PUSD. I look forward to continuing to serve and learn from our community. All while occasionally quoting song lyrics and random scenes from The Office.

    Abraham and Family

     

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  • Pittsburg Pride Post: Ms. Luz Aguilar-Ferrell, English Language Coordinator

    Posted by Nicole Mora on 1/7/2021

    WHY DO YOU HAVE PITTSBURG PRIDE?

    Pittsburg is a diverse and invested community and I feel that I am part of it.

    Ms. Luz Aguilar-Ferrell


    WHY PITTSBURG? HOW IS PITTSBURG DIFFERENT FROM OTHER COMMUNITIES?

    Pittsburg was my home for about 10 years and it treated me well. Based on that and despite the fact that we moved out, I wanted to continue supporting Highlands Elementary parent community and its staff anyway possible.

     

    WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO WORK IN PITTSBURG?

    I was given the opportunity to work in Pittsburg based on my bilingual skills to support with the English Learner Program as well as our Spanish speaking families. I took on the task because I was drawn to serve as a link to facilitate communication between school and families, so parents, in turn, could support their students.

     

    Ms. Luz Aguilar-Ferrell


    WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?

    My role has grown through the 21 years that I have served in the district. I continue assisting our Spanish speaking families as well as many others. I appreciate the trust that families and staff have placed on me to support and/or troubleshoot needs and issues, and to have the freedom to initiate and explore different ways to offer extra support where needed. Being part of a supporting team when completing tasks is also very rewarding.

     

    HOW DO YOU INSPIRE OTHERS?

    I do not know that I inspire others. However, I am an active participant within our school and family community. My hope is that it leads to increased positive outcomes for all of our stakeholders.

     

    Ms. Luz Aguilar-Ferrell

     

    WHAT IS MOST REWARDING ABOUT YOUR TIME AT PUSD?

    I feel that my work and interaction with the Highlands school community has enabled me to grow at a personal level. Learning about our families strengths and character, has allowed me to expand my areas of reach to better serve them. I believe I have created meaningful relationships with families and their students as well as coworkers and staff throughout the district.

     

    ANYTHING YOU WANT TO ADD?

    I will continue working with the Pittsburg School District until they decide to get rid of me :)

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  • Pittsburg Pride Post: Ms. Kristi Walton, Music Teacher at Los Medanos Elementary

    Posted by Nicole Mora on 12/8/2020

    WHY DO YOU HAVE PITTSBURG PRIDE?

    My mother and father moved my sister and I to Pittsburg when I was almost 5 years old. I attended Parkside Elementary School, where I discovered a love of music. I fell in love with music because of Mr. French. When musicians from Hillview Junior High came to our campus to show off their band, I knew I had to be a part of that. I went on to Hillview Junior High and music saved me from the crippling anxiety I had about going to a new school, where I knew no one. I continued Band and was a member of the Pride of Pittsburg, The Pirates Marching Show Band with Mr. Cross. I have had other great music instructors, but these men started me off on my music path. This is where my Pittsburg Pride started and where it still comes from today.

    Kristi Walton


    WHY PITTSBURG? HOW IS PITTSBURG DIFFERENT FROM OTHER COMMUNITIES?

    Pittsburg, although still growing in population all the time, still feels like a small community in many ways. There are still small businesses where I shop (I went to school with the owners) and fun downtown experiences. For example, I can take my own daughters to the Ice Rink or the Holiday Parade. But, what I really like about Pittsburg is the diversity of its residents. We are all different, yet, for the most part, we walk down the street and nod or say good morning to each other. There is a true family feeling of unity within the school community and the neighborhood community in which I live. The city itself is also nestled between the hills and the Delta. All of these reasons combined are what I believe makes Pittsburg special.

    WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO WORK IN PITTSBURG?

    I have lived and gone to Pittsburg schools since 1978. Even after I graduated and went off to college, I still returned to the Pittsburg schools where my mother, Patti LaValley, worked and I volunteered. I knew the people who worked within PUSD. They were my friends, and after I graduated college, they became my colleagues. By working for PUSD, I feel I am giving back to the community where I grew up. I am helping make kids feel safe and accepted, the way Mr. McKay and Mr. Cross made me feel. I am paying my community back for all it has given me.

     

    Kristi Walton selfie with students


    WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?

    This is my twenty-first year teaching with PUSD. My job, especially now that I teach music, is so rewarding. I loved teaching first grade and seeing students' eyes light up when they understood a concept, but music has always been my love. I don't do well with big changes, so going to new schools was hard for me as a child. Music was my connection at every school. Now, I teach music and I try to instill that love in my students. Whether its through instrumental music and teaching band, through vocal music and teaching choir, or just sitting with a class and explaining how the song Sleigh Ride works, I enjoy seeing my class get excited to participate in the lesson. I love that they are enthusiastic to come to class, both when we were doing live instruction on campus and even now, when we are are doing lessons remotely (on the computer). Even during Distance Learning, they are still excited to come and see me on Zoom.

     

    HOW DO YOU INSPIRE OTHERS?

    I don't know how much I inspire others. If I do, it's through the small things. Taking a six-year-old's hand and making her feel safe as we skate during a field trip, explaining to a band member how to better their sound, or just being there to listen when a student needs an ear and shoulder to lean on, I am there for them. I think maybe they inspire me and it just goes full circle.

     

    WHAT IS MOST REWARDING ABOUT YOUR TIME AT PUSD?

    My most rewarding thing about my time at PUSD is watching my own daughters grow up in the same district that I grew up attending. I have come full circle now watching my oldest daughter, Ella, be a part of the Pride of Pittsburg, The Pirates Marching Show Band. I get to see it all again through the eyes of my daughters.

     

    ANYTHING YOU WANT TO ADD?

    Thank you to a community that has been there for me through good times and hard; I can't thank you all enough.

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  • Pittsburg Pride Post: Ms. Melanie Bruno, School Clerk II at Parkside Elementary

    Posted by Nicole Mora on 12/4/2020

    WHY DO YOU HAVE PITTSBURG PRIDE?

    I was born and raised in Pittsburg. I am a 4th generation PUSD employee (starting with my great grandfather - Original head custodian at the original Central JH), Parkside Alumni (K-5th), I went from one side of the counter to the other. I tell Mr. Varner, "You're stuck with me!" Pittsburg High School graduation class of 2000. Once a Pirate - Always a Pirate!!

    Melanie Bruno


    WHY PITTSBURG? HOW IS PITTSBURG DIFFERENT FROM OTHER COMMUNITIES?

    Pittsburg is one of the most diverse, hard working communities. I get to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in the Bay Area, between Mt. Diablo and the Delta.


    WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO WORK IN PITTSBURG?

    Growing up, my parents instilled morals of hard work, love, Italian/Sicilian traditions, and faith. Following in their footsteps, I started as an instructional aide over 15 years ago and was able to work my way up. Working with the kids has been very rewarding for me, they keep me grounded.

     

    Melanie Bruno


    WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?

    I love working with the children, they remind me every day to enjoy the simple things in life. I love working with such an awesome team of positive people. I have the best bosses in the world, Mr. Varner and Ms. Ireland!

     

    HOW DO YOU INSPIRE OTHERS?

    I think I inspire others to do the right thing, be kind, do the things you love, be able to laugh at yourself, and stay positive. I love being artistic with photography, coloring, and Color Street nails. I think this allows me to inspire others to express themselves artistically.

     

    WHAT IS MOST REWARDING ABOUT YOUR TIME AT PUSD?

    Seeing the smiles on the kids' faces makes me smile. Watching them grow, learn, and mature makes me proud. I love it when I make phone calls and former students, who haven't heard my voice in 10 years, know who I am before I even announce myself. They know my voice and they tell me how they remember me cleaning their scrapes at recess or helping them with another issue. It makes me feel like I made a difference.

     

    ANYTHING YOU WANT TO ADD?

    #ParksideRules

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  • Pittsburg Pride Post: Mr. Sean Sturgis, HVAC Technician

    Posted by Nicole Mora on 10/29/2020

    WHY DO YOU HAVE PITTSBURG PRIDE?

    I have Pittsburg Pride because I was born and raised in Pittsburg.

    Sean Sturgis

    WHY PITTSBURG? HOW IS PITTSBURG DIFFERENT FROM OTHER COMMUNITIES?

    Pittsburg has so much diversity in its schools and is the most diverse city in the Bay Area, in my opinion. As far as I can remember, we've always had a variety of ethnic groups in Pittsburg. In the 1980's, neighboring towns had very few African American football players on their high school teams, but in Pittsburg this was different. We have been an understanding and family oriented community for many, many years.

     

    WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO WORK IN PITTSBURG?

    Pittsburg is where my family lives. My teammate’s kids go to the school in Pittsburg and my classmate's kids are here. When I started working for PUSD, people like Joanie Orlando (cafeteria worker) and Mr. Phil Webb (Pittsburg High) were still working here and I remember them from when I was a student. The longevity of those who work for PUSD  make it a place that feels like home. When you think of your teammate's or classmate's kids as family, you go the extra mile to fix things for them, because it is personal. I take a lot of pride in my work.

     

    WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?

    I see my job as a way of giving back. Accomplishing something or fixing things for students and staff feels good.

     

    HOW DO YOU INSPIRE OTHERS?

    I try and inspire other by leading by example. I try and work hard at my job, to the best of my ability. I try not to be verbal, but my hope is that I inspire with my actions.

     

    WHAT IS MOST REWARDING ABOUT YOUR TIME AT PUSD?

    I think the most rewarding thing is twofold. I love giving back to my community by being the best HVAC technician I can be. It feels good know that the students and staff have cool and warm temperatures in their classrooms.

    The second most rewarding thing about my job at PUSD is creating friendships with co-workers. Not just co-workers in my department, but coworkers throughout the district...support staff and teachers. PUSD is a great community to work in.  

     

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  • Pittsburg Pride Post: Ms. Hilda Porter, Bus Driver

    Posted by Nicole Mora on 10/22/2020

    WHY DO YOU HAVE PITTSBURG PRIDE?

    I’ve been in Pittsburg my whole life. I was raised here, and received my education from Village, Heights, Los Medanos, Hillview and finally Pittsburg High School, graduating in 1982. While residing in Pittsburg, I have acquired many friends from all ethnic backgrounds and love them all.

    Hilda Porter

    WHY PITTSBURG? HOW IS PITTSBURG DIFFERENT FROM OTHER COMMUNITIES?

    Pittsburg is wonderful in so many ways. The beautiful difference here from many other cities is the diversity in our community. Families have lived here for generations and generations, and we don’t see the differences in one another. All cultures are so appreciative of each other.

    WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO WORK IN PITTSBURG?

    I had children, and since I was living in Pittsburg, I felt working in town was such a great opportunity and blessing.

    WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?

    My job gave me a lot of time with my children. My breaks were the same as their school breaks, such as summer and all holidays. Being a bus driver allowed me to be on my children's field trips, including fieldtrips for my friends' children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. It was awesome to be part of their time and to see their excitement, especially for the Barrel trips and sporting events. To be a part of these moments with the students is a wonderful thing to me. I get to see every emotion, whether it be good, bad, happy, or sad – I am part of that experience. I am able to talk with the students about their achievements. And, when it is not a great outcome, I am there with them.

    Hilda Porter with students HOW DO YOU INSPIRE OTHERS?

    I think I try to inspire others by being positive and uplifting. I’m not sure if that is inspiring, but I try to give a good impression, treat them as I want to be treated, always smile, and work willingly with others.

    WHAT IS MOST REWARDING ABOUT YOUR TIME AT PUSD?

    Seeing students that have riden my bus find their place in life. Every once in a while a former student will tell me, “Mrs. Hilda, I did what you told me and it worked! Thanks!” Or, I get a wave from them or a parent who has trust in me, knowing I would and will do everything I can to get their child to and from school safely. My relationship with students is genuine.

    ANYTHING YOU WANT TO ADD?

    I work with wonderful people. I have been working for PUSD for 21 years. From my first day to present, I have had great relationships with my supervisors and all staff members, Principals, Vice Principals, Teachers, Aides, Coaches, Mechanics, Groundskeepers, Custodians – all of them, and they all have Pittsburg Pride.  There is no other place like Pittsburg. It has deep roots of family; you can tell when someone is from Pittsburg just by their behavior. There’s no other place like Pittsburg – once a Pirate – always a Pirate –Pittsburg Pride!

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  • Pittsburg Pride Post: Ms. Amitai Padilla, MTSS Specialist

    Posted by Nicole Mora on 1/6/2020

    Amitai Padilla

    WHY DO YOU HAVE PITTSBURG PRIDE?
    I have grown professionally and as a person in Pittsburg. I also know many others who grew up in Pittsburg and had similar experiences that I did where they flourished in a diverse or larger city. This was partly due to the advantage of living in a diverse community.


    WHY PITTSBURG? HOW IS PITTSBURG DIFFERENT FROM OTHER COMMUNITIES?
    One of Pittsburg's best features is the diverse community! We are very fortunate to have so many countries, cultures, and languages represented in our small city in the East Bay Area. I enjoy learning from all the different cultures around us and am always mindful of the different needs of the groups. I appreciate that we are also able to come together and learn from each other.

     

    AS A PHS GRADUATE, WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO WORK IN YOUR HOMETOWN?
    I started working at PUSD after I graduated from PHS! I started as a substitute clerk, aide, and noon duty supervisor. I was in college at the time and I really enjoyed working in my community. At the time, I was volunteering at two places and had another part-time job on top of being a full-time student. Once I finished my A.A. from Los Medanos College, I transfered to San Francisco State University. Even after moving to SF, I stayed working part-time at PUSD as a substitute because I enjoyed it so much! After I graduated with my B.A., doors opened for a full-time position at Marina Vista Elementary. I was so sure I would be happy there, and I was right. I have now had a full-time position at PUSD for over 4 years and have worked for PUSD for a total of 9 years!

    Amitai Padilla, Kristin Wollenweber, Cecilla Valdez

     

    WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?
    What I love most about my current position, MTSS Coordinator, is being able to listen to the needs of the school community. I work closely with school administration, school staff, District office staff, families, and partners in the community. It is so inspiring when I see everyone putting their part in to support the students and staff in need.

     

    HOW DO YOU INSPIRE OTHERS?
    One of my beliefs is that people need the correct information at the correct time. I do the best I can to be a resource and provide information and support when it is needed. A large portion of my job is to support families in times of crisis and uncertainty. I have dedicated a large portion of my time to listening to others' needs and help mobilize them. Whether it means to sit and listen to someone in a confidential space or helping them make difficult phone calls. I do as much as possible for the family, so they feel empowered to make next steps happen.

    WHAT IS MOST REWARDING ABOUT YOUR TIME AT PUSD?
    The most rewarding part is definitely when I see the students and families that I supported make it farther than they were before! I don't think anything else makes me happier than to see the students and families get ahead and make changes in their lives for the best.


    Amitai Padilla and Rose Henderson ANYTHING YOU WANT TO ADD?
    I am very humbled to be honored and to be of service of PUSD families. I appreciate the support and trust that my current and previous supervisors and school administrators have given me. The freedom they gave me when I first started full-time helped me develop into who I am today. Thank you and Go Pirates!

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  • Pittsburg Pride Post: Mr. Arturo Fernandez, 1st grade teacher at Parkside Elementary School

    Posted by Nicole Mora on 12/20/2019

    Arturo Fernandez Why Do You Have Pittsburg Pride?
    Growing up in Pittsburg it’s hard not to have pride. My parents both grew up in Pittsburg, and I saw the pride in them. My mother, Shirley Archuleta, is a retired Oncology Nurse. When we would go to the store, she would see someone she knows and talk to them for what seemed like an eternity. People knew my mom was a nurse and would confide their health concerns or their family’s ailments; they wanted and trusted her opinion. That showed me at a young age that Pittsburg residents took care of each other.


    My father, Jack Fernandez, is the kind of guy that everyone in Pittsburg knows. I’ve seen how he gives back to the community of Pittsburg, through many years of coaching. My dad has been on the booster committee for the Pittsburg High football team for over 20 years! I have accompanied him to booster events many times and when I see fellow Pittsburg High alumni give back at these events, it encourages me to do the same. Giving his time to the town he loves brings him a lot of happiness and I admire him for that.


    When I am asked why I have Pittsburg Pride, I have to say it was modeled my entire life by my parents. I saw their love for this town, and I wanted to do the same. Pittsburg is a small town and still has that “small-town” feel.


    Arturo Fernandez Why Pittsburg? How is Pittsburg Different from Other Communities?
    “Pittsburg looks out for Pittsburg,” is a saying I have heard for most of my life. I can attest that it is not just a saying, it really happens…in many ways, which I’ll try to illustrate below.

     

    I remember feeling proud in school, knowing many of the faculty members knew my family. It was a sense of community that gave me a better learning experience. Growing up, we always went to Pittsburg High football games. We would sit with family and friends to watch the game. I remember being mesmerized on Friday nights with the game, the band, and the chants. It’s a Pittsburg Pride feeling you get. But, besides just connecting through athletics, we also connect when there’s a time of need. I have personally witnessed people come together to raise money for fellow community members with outstanding hospital bills.

     

    Within the school community, while working at Parkside, I’ve seen a whole other side of giving back. I’ve seen staff give extra backpacks, clothing, and school supplies to students in need. We have sponsored families during the holidays by providing meals and gifts. It is amazing to see our community so willing to give and look out for each other.

     

    Arturo Fernandez You Graduated from Pittsburg High, Right? Why Did You Decide to Come Back to Your Hometown and Teach?
    I graduated in the class of 1999 from Pittsburg High School. During my time as a student in PUSD, I had some amazing teachers that taught me more than just the standards. After I graduated, I wanted to do the same. Like my parents instilled Pittsburg Pride in me, this is my way of giving back to a town that helped raise me. Teaching at Parkside has been a fit because I’m constantly reminded about the importance of family and what this small town represents.

     

    What Do You Love Most About Your Job?
    The part of my job I love the most is getting to know my students. Each student has their own unique personality. Using their personality and interests to teach them is rewarding. We have amazing students that come in and out of our school district. It is an amazing and proud feeling to be greeted with joy from a current or former student at the store or outside of school.

     

    Arturo Fernandez How Do You Try to Inspire Others?
    I inspire others by talking to them and getting to know them. You can get to know students by listening and watching their actions. As an educator, you want to find what motivates students, and you build from that to inspire them.

     

    What is Most Rewarding About Your Time at PUSD?
    In my first year of teaching, I was not at Parkside. I taught fifth grade and did not have any books for my class library. Word got back to the librarian at Parkside and she rallied the teachers and staff to help me out. A few days later, I received seven boxes of books for my class library. I appreciated the support from Parkside and will never forget this act of kindness.

     
    Anything You Want to Add?
    I have worked with many amazing people throughout my years as a substitute and full-time teacher. These educators have inspired and motivated me to elevate myself as a teacher. I want to give a shout-out to all of the past and present teachers I have had the honor to learn from. You are some of the most amazing teachers! Thank you, for making me strive to be the best teacher I can be.

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  • Pittsburg Pride Post: Ms. Alejandra Esqueda, MTSS Specialist

    Posted by Nicole Mora on 12/10/2019

    Ale Esqueda Why Do You Have Pittsburg Pride?
    Pittsburg is a huge part of who I am. I have lived in Pittsburg my entire life! I attended Parkside Elementary, Central Jr. High, and Pittsburg High. I had a positive experience growing up in Pittsburg and now working here. Both combined have instilled a great sense of pride in my heart for the place that I’m from. I am fortunate to be from here and now given the chance to give back. The youth in our schools are such wonderful young people with so much to give and I love that!

     

    Why Pittsburg? How is Pittsburg Different from Other Communities?
    Pittsburg is a great representation of a “melting pot” with such a diverse population and as diverse as it is, we are a pretty close-knit community. I feel we are a community that is welcoming, safe, and pleasant.

     

    Did You Graduate from Pittsburg High? If So, Why Did You Decide to Work in Your Hometown?
    I am indeed a proud Pittsburg High graduate (Class of 2006!). Go Pirates! I have been working with youth for 13 years and in PUSD schools for 10 years. I just love working in my hometown. It was actually in high school that I found my calling in life and decided to work with youth. I knew I wanted to become the best version of myself so that I could one day become an example and mentor for young people in my community. The joy and benefits I received from my educational experience here in Pittsburg are immeasurable, so I want to give back to my community and school district. Working in my hometown has aided me in my service because I am part of the same diverse culture my youth are from; therefore, I can understand them better.

     

    Ale Esqueda in reflection room with students What Do You Love Most About Your Job?
    I do not see what I do as merely a job; it is more of an opportunity. Each day I am met with countless opportunities to truly make an impact. My job is to help put supports in place for our at-risk or most vulnerable students. I strive to do this by reaching students in their classrooms, in the After School Programs, or in the dance/sports programs I coach. Additionally, I enjoy teaching students relaxation and reflective activities in the Reflection Room at Willow Cove Elementary School. It is a new room we opened to provide a safe and peaceful place on our site where students can come when they are having a rough day or conflicts. Every day is different and I love it! I aim to help build independent, confident students and leaders. It’s amazing for us all to watch the shy, quiet youth unfold into confident young people. Also, I want to point out that every day I come to work, I am met by so many encouraging people who have the same aspirations I do. There are so many amazing people to learn from in PUSD.

     

     

     

    Ms. Ale and co-workers How Do You Try to Inspire Others?
    Those who know me or have worked alongside me know that I truly believe in the potential and future of every person. Something I remind others is that our youth are not “just kids” as some describe them. Our youth are young people with great potential; they are future adults who can bring something special to others. I want others to also know this and I model it by setting high expectations for our youth. I help guide them in their journeys by teaching them about hard work. I seek to inspire youth by reminding them that I believe in them and that they can do anything they put their minds and hearts into. I make sure the students know that I care for them and their future. I want to inspire others in PUSD to work hard in making a difference in young people’s lives because every young person in our district deserves it.

     

     

     

    Ale Esqueda at cheer practice What is Most Rewarding About Your Time at PUSD?
    I am blessed each day with opportunities to have a positive impact on someone’s day and that has been the most rewarding of all. Knowing that I can make a difference in someone’s life, or even just their day, is fulfilling on so many levels. Some days are tough, but I know at the end of each day that what I do for youth is something good and I feel proud of that. In addition, working in PUSD schools and closely with students and their families, I’ve been blessed with becoming a member of so many families. I genuinely feel so honored and fortunate to be backed by the love and trust of so many people with their children.

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