Members of the growing UCI bilingual teacher community had their end of the school year dinner celebration at Brü Market and Grill in Lake Forest on June 9. This past year, most of the bilingual credential candidates were placed at Gates Elementary School for their student teaching assignment. During commencement over the weekend, eight future bilingual teachers graduated from the School of Education; seven in Spanish and one in Mandarin. The celebration extended to present bilingual student teachers, undergraduates and alumni. Some bilingual alumni, now employed as bilingual teachers at Gates, came to the dinner to congratulate the group.
Present and new cabinet members of the young undergraduate club on campus, Bilingual Teacher Student Association (BTSA), also attended the event. The club was launched last spring and is fast growing. Thus far, 90 undergraduates have shown interest in the club since its induction. The club focuses on supporting future bilingual teachers by offering opportunities from fun social events throughout the year to community service at various dual immersion schools. The club also provides valuable mentorships from past members and others in the bilingual education field. Co-president, Alyssa Arteaga, introduced the new and present cabinet members at the dinner. Susan Guilfoyle, bilingual coordinator and BTSA faculty advisor, introduced the bilingual alumni and student teachers. Honored guest, Dr. Kevin Reimer, director of undergraduate programs at the School of Education, was given a gift from BTSA for his tremendous amount of support throughout the year. It was a great evening to see so many bilingual Anteaters representing undergraduates, graduates and alumni; a community that will indeed grow in years to come.