Braeburn Elementary School teacher Sandy Trejo was not expecting the sights and sounds that greeted her when she stepped outside of the school on Tuesday.
As students waved handmade signs of congratulations, a mini parade of brightly decorated cars snaked through the parking lot, blaring their horns to honor the first-grade ESL teacher as the district’s Teacher of the Month for May.
At the head of the parade was West Area Superintendent James McSwain, who praised Trejo’s hard work and dedication this year.
“As a bilingual teacher, she has been committed to educating our newcomer students,” McSwain said. “And even amidst a challenging year, Ms. Trejo requested to her principal to be made a self-contained teacher for her kids and to take on the extra responsibility of math instruction,” McSwain said.
Trejo said she was not expecting the recogntion and felt overwhelmed and grateful for the celebration.
“I feel very appreciated, and it’s very humbling for me that they chose me over so many amazing teachers across the district,” she said.
A teacher at Braeburn for five years, Trejo’s colleagues say she is dedicated to advocating for her students and is constantly thinking outside the box to achieve her—and her students’—goals.
“She works closely with our students and families, and as a professioal looks for opportunities to learn and grow,” Principal Amanda Rodgers said. “It’s been rewarding to see, and she has a really calm and wonderful spirit.”
Rodgers notes that one of the things that sets Trejo apart is that she uses a wide array of data to push her students forward, and she is always willing to take on a new hurdle. In fact, this year she requested to be a self-contained teacher despite the additional challenges of the pandemic and virtual learning.
Trejo made the request in order to grow professionally, but also build a deeper relationship and trust foundation with her students.
In fact, that desire to nurture relationships goes beyond just the classroom. Trejo’s colleagues commend her for always supporting her fellow teachers, whether its acting as first-grade chair or helping first-year educators find their footing in their new careers.
For Trejo, she believes that it is all part of the job.
“I think everything you do you should do with love,” she said. “If this is my calling, I should do this for the students to feel that connection,” Trejo said.