MBA, 1996; Master of Arts in Teaching, 2012
School of Education
July 1, 2015
Teacher of the Year at Gates Elementary School Promotes Dual Language Immersion
Like many of the students she now teaches, Myuriel was an English Language Learner herself when she started school in the U.S. at 11 years old. Now, many years later, she feels that her life has come full circle with her career, teaching as a dual language immersion teacher. Her path along the way, however, was anything but a straight line.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Myuriel first worked as a computer programmer. Several years later, in 1994, she went back to school and earned an MBA from the Paul Merage School of Business at UCI. Upon graduating she entered the management consulting field where she worked with corporate clients on their Information Technology strategy. Later, she ran her own business for several years before returning to UCI once again, this time to pursue a career where she felt she would have the most personal impact.
Myuriel received her teaching credentials and Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) at UCI’s School of Education. In the fall of 2011, she began her career as a Dual-Immersion Elementary School Teacher at Ralph A. Gates Elementary (Gates) in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District (SVUSD). It was there where she completed her first two pre-service quarters as a student teacher.
The UCI program prepared me well for the challenges of teaching. The program at UCI was rigorous and gave me the foundation for teaching in ways compatible with the Common Core Standards. And I am sure that one of my instructors, Susan Guilfoyle, is glad that she taught me so well since I have taught her daughter two years in a row.
Myuriel feels extremely grateful to work at a school that has helped her grow tremendously, and where she can teach in two languages. At Gates, Myuriel has become a curriculum leader for her grade level, and this year she was recognized as Teacher of the Year.
Myuriel has also been fortunate to be a mentor teacher to bright and hardworking UCI student teachers.
Last year, I welcomed my first two student teachers, Megan Gibbs, now a dual-immersion teacher at Gates, and Liliana Corona, a dual-immersion teacher at the San Juan Capistrano District. This past trimester, I had the pleasure of being a mentor teacher to Evelin Villanueva, also an MAT graduate from UCI.
Myuriel is committed to sharing her knowledge with colleagues. She has been a presenter at CABE (California Association for Bilingual Education). In 2014, she collaborated on a presentation titled “Together is Better: Transition to the Common Core with Integrated Reading and Writing Units.” This past March, Myuriel, together with two colleagues, presented “Cross-Curricular Units for all Language Learners.”
In reviewing her career selections, Myuriel comments,
I am grateful for the career opportunities I have had, but nothing compares to the joy and meaning I have found in teaching. Every day, my students present opportunities for growth for themselves and also for me. One of my great educational passions is to instill the love of reading in my students, and one of my greatest pleasures is to receive notes from my students thanking me for helping them discover the joy of reading and for becoming better readers.