Isabel Morales (’05, M.Ed., B.A., ’02, Sociology/Chicana/o Studies) and Hector Perez-Roman (’05, M.Ed., Secondary Teaching Credential in Social Studies) have been named Los Angeles County Teachers of the Year. This is a prestigious honor, with only five teachers selected from throughout the county.
“My daily bus rides showed me that Los Angeles was a city of contradictions and juxtapositions, neglected neighborhoods adjacent to impeccable communities that seemed worlds apart,” recalls Morales. “It seemed unfair that I and so many other students should have to leave our neighborhoods in order to receive an adequate education.
“Opportunities to learn and thrive should exist in all communities, regardless of socioeconomic status. I chose to become a teacher to provide students like me with a rigorous and inspiring educational experience,” she says.
“I had outstanding teachers and counselors who took me under their wings to improve my writing skills, leadership abilities, inspire me to think about a college education, and look beyond my neighborhood for greater career and learning opportunities,” notes Perez-Roman. “That experience resonated with me after I completed my undergraduate work and wanted to be able to do the same for a new generation of students.”