Highlighting the Students in our MAESTROs & Teacher Pathway Program!

The MAESTROs and Teacher Pathway Program (TPP) is proud to serve diverse students from our community. Here, we will continually feature students in our program and their responses to the following questions:

  • What teacher inspired you?
  • Why do you want to become a teacher?
  • What grade level do you want to teach and why?   

These students are unique, motivated, and resilient individuals that we hope inspire you with their story as they've inspired us!


Luis soto alvarez - TPP Cohort 4

picture of Luis Soto cohort 4My name is Luis Soto Alvarez. I am currently majoring in Elementary Education at Hartnell College preparing to go onto CSU Monterey Bay for my bachelor’s degree in liberal studies with a multiple subject teaching credential. One teacher who inspired me to pursue this career was Mrs. Bowen from my high school Regional Occupational Program (ROP) class, Careers in Education. Apart from all the knowledge on the teaching career that I received [in] the class, Mrs. Bowens’ personal career path gave me someone's experience to look up to, as she also grew up here in Salinas. Hearing her stories of how she went from studying here, at Hartnell College, to across the country in Oklahoma, staying to live there teaching different [grade] levels and ended up coming back to Salinas to teach at her old high school really provided a wide range of experiences to take note from. It all inspired me to want to become a teacher here in the area that I’ve grown up in.

Something that pushed the initial instinct of wanting to become a teacher is the satisfaction I’ve always received from showing others how to do something new. Apart from being a first generation Mexican American, I am also the first born of siblings and cousins. I’ve always had someone younger asking me to show them how to do something, whether it was [related] to school or life, and I’ve always enjoyed doing so.

A grade level I would like to teach is 5th or 6th grade, mainly because I want to be able to prepare students for the long journey after elementary [school]. Although I wouldn’t mind teaching lower grades, as I’ve participated in a pre-internship at El Gabilan Elementary for a first grade class and enjoyed every moment of working with the students.


Laura Elizabeth Torres-Resendiz - MAESTROs

picture of Laura Torres MAESTROsLet me introduce myself, I am Laura Elizabeth Torres-Resendiz. After a decade of being out of school and three beautiful and talented daughters, I returned to college summer of 2019 to accomplish my dream of nearly 24 years. I recently graduated from Hartnell College fall of 2020, and have obtained my A.A. in Elementary Teacher Education. I have been accepted at California State University, Monterey Bay where I will be pursuing my degree in Liberal Studies.

I recall clearly the care and dedication my third-grade teacher showed us when I attended Greenfield Elementary School. Mrs. Galvan is the one who inspired me to become a teacher. Now she is currently the superintendent in Greenfield. I can recall how much drive and devotion she had as a teacher. She cared for all of us and one of her methods in encouraging us to be enthusiastic about learning was giving us the opportunity to have lunch with her. Positive reinforcement was what I admire about her. Thank you, Mrs. Galvan for embedding many beautiful moments in my heart.

Being a mother has also inspired me to achieve my dream. A dream that has no expiration date, a dream that only I can continue to push myself, a dream that will one day be seen by my three daughters. They have inspired me and encouraged me to keep looking forward. I became a mother at a young age, but even then I knew the importance of teaching my daughters the values and opportunities that education holds to those who seek it. I took my daughters to a program here in King City known then as Mommy and Me. This was an opportunity that as a mother I grabbed and learned from. By the time they each were in kindergarten their teacher Ms. Deasy was impressed with how much they knew.

I would someday like to accomplish my dream I had as an 8-year-old and become a teacher. Be a voice and comfort for students who are in desperate need of affection. I want to be a teacher to help my students be enthusiastic about achieving their goals. Finally, becoming a teacher will help me prepare my students to someday become positive leaders. Change doesn’t always start at home, for some, change begins in a positive school setting and that is exactly what I hope to one day bring to my future students.

At the moment, I am hoping to pass my CBEST test and from there if all goes well start subbing here in Monterey County. As a paraeducator and in the past an active volunteer parent, I can possibly see myself teaching kindergarten or second grade. I feel confident and comfortable teaching these two grade levels because I have been a kindergarten paraeducator for four years now, and have learned plenty from different kindergarten teachers. As for the second grade, I have volunteered as a parent with the same second grade teacher for different years. Students in second grade tend to be more independent, but they are also in an age where hands-on learning is absolutely necessary. Overall, I am willing to substitute in grades TK-5th, and who knows, I might just have a change of mind.


Mason McCullough - MAESTROS

Mason McCullough Picture

My name is Mason McCullough and my major is History. Mr. Hooper and Mr. Pacheco have inspired me to keep setting academic goals, and I have implemented their critiques to become a better speaker and writer. The reason I would like to be a teacher is because students should be able to know past events and individuals in order to make their life better. Middle school would most likely be the age of teaching since this is a time where they can understand easy concepts and even explore complex topics.


nicole king - TPP COHORT 4

Nicole King PictureMy name is Nicole King and my major is Liberal Studies. My goal is to become an elementary school teacher. A teacher that has inspired me is my 7th-8th grade middle school math teacher. She inspired me to become a teacher because she was always very supportive and available to help when I did not understand something, and it has encouraged me to help other students the same way. A reason why I want to become a teacher is because I feel like teaching is a special way to inspire young students to learn more and to be creative. The grade that I want to teach is 2nd or 3rd grade, because at that grade level students are at a developmental level where they can grow and I want to inspire them to grow to their maximum ability.