It is our honor to announce Ms. Monica Mendoza as the 2022-23 Caswell Teacher of the Year!
Monica’s dedication and passion for students at Caswell Dual Language Academy is commendable. Monica has worked as an educator for the past 4 years as a Caswell Cougar! A few of the many things we admire about Monica is her growth mindset, enthusiasm, positive sense of humor and her commitment to being a lifelong learner. Monica has demonstrated a dedication to teaching and she is always doing her best to meet the needs of her students. She is always willing and able to support and encourage colleagues with her time, expertise, and optimistic attitude. Her grade level peers describe Monica as a “go getter” when it comes to planning and supporting the team. Mrs. Phillips said that “Monica is a relationships first teacher who knows that her students' social and emotional well-being must be nurtured before academics.” This is evident every day because she always comes to work with a smile and a positive attitude.
Monica is one to go to for advice, suggestions and crafty classroom ideas. She spends countless hours of her time lesson planning, preparing activities, and improving her classroom environment with her grade level colleagues and participating in school and district committees to ensure that her students are receiving the best education possible. Ms. Flores said that Monica “always goes above and beyond for her students.” In addition to doing her very best for students, her passion for supporting other teachers is truly evident as she has taken a lead in representing our teaching staff at the district level for the new implementation of Standards Based Grading and the implementation of the new Illustrative Math Curriculum. Monica is also a current member of the Caswell School Site Council and she is one of the Student Council Advisors. Additionally, Monica is a valued Bridge to Learning Teacher where she dedicates additional time to students who need her the most. In her classroom, students know what they are learning, where they are going, and are able to express the big ideas of what they are learning and connect them to real world examples. Mrs. Detchon said that “Monica nurtures her students with kindness and respect and she inspires them to be who they are.”
Monica’s patience, and dedication to ensuring that every child succeeds to the best of their ability, has positively impacted students’ lives academically, socially, and emotionally. You just have to watch her with her students to see that she demonstrates patience, mutual respect, and delivers lessons to her students that reaches all students regardless of their level or ability. Giving her students the confidence they need to be successful is her number one priority. Monica is able to break through barriers, develop trusting relationships with her students while holding them accountable and pushing them to reach their full potential. This year, Monica is part of the CUSD Equity Cohort and her input and participation has been invaluable. During her participation, she has clearly demonstrated that she wants to learn about topics such as equity, diversity and inclusion in order to provide a safe and welcoming environment for ALL her students. Her efforts clearly impact the lives of students within and outside her classroom walls. Ms. Eloisa, said that Monica’s students are “always talking about how much they love their teacher.”
It is with great honor that we nominate Monica Mendoza as Caswell Dual Language Academy 22/23 Teacher of the Year!