SAN ANTONIO — At exactly 9 a.m. on a Tuesday morning, everyone was logged in on Zoom and in place, ready to go.
The reason? Aimee Pacheco.
“Obviously I got emotional,” Pacheco said.
And yes, things did get emotional. but it was all happy tears.
Speaking Spanish, Pacheco’s mom, along with her younger brother and sister, told us they were extremely proud of her.
Pacheco couldn’t hold back her tears.
“I know 2020 has tested us a lot this year,” she said, “It feels nice to have something to celebrate.”
Also celebrating, the Somerset ISD Superintendent, Pacheco’s Principal, Credit Human, and KENS 5's Television crew presenting Pacheco with our EXCEL award.
“We’d like to award you a check with $1,000,” Mike Dubose with Credit Human said.
It’s quite the accomplishment for Pacheco, in such a small amount of time.
“It just hit me like a ton of bricks.”
Pacheco is only 24 years old, “I teach fully in Spanish and so the students who come in are from native Spanish speaking families.”
With just 3 years of teaching Bilingual at Somerset Early Childhood Elementary, she’s proven herself.
“In 3 years, she’s really grown into this leadership role,” said Dr. Saul Hinojosa, “Parents are really fortunate to have a teacher such as Aimee leading the charge in the classroom. “
In her classroom, building self-esteem in her 4 and 5-year-olds – is a top priority.
“I grew up with this notion of, oh there goes the Spanish kids and it’s not until I became a teacher, I realized how it rubbed me the wrong way.”
But now Pacheco is using it to her advantage. She says she relies on her personal experience and unique perspective to help her students.
“I was in bilingual ESL up until 5th or 6th grade. One of the things I’ve always carried with me is making sure students realize they’re not the 'other',” Pacheco added, “Yes, I’m teaching in Spanish, but I’m creating a culture of confidence.”
When it comes to fun, Pacheco carries a larger than life attitude.
“We might be making slime, but the kids don’t even realize in the process of making slime, they’re learning how to count or learning their letters,” said Pacheco.
“I’m definitely not afraid to get loud and get dirty and making a fool out of myself because that’s how early childhood works. I always say you’re not a pre-school teacher if you don’t feel a little bit silly at the end of the day. “