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Trejo Returns to Travis to Make a Difference
08/09/2017
 New teacher holding diploma
Photo by Carrie Pryor-Newman
Gicela Trejo shows off the pre-kindergarten diploma she received from Travis Elementary in 2002. Trejo, a 2014 graduate of IMPACT Early College High School, is one of Goose Creek CISD’s new teachers, returning to Travis to teach fifth grade bilingual language arts.

 

Trejo Returns to Travis to Make a Difference

 

By: Susan Passmore

 

When Gicela Trejo received her pre-kindergarten diploma from Travis Elementary in 2002, she never dreamed she’d return as a teacher 15 years later. A member of the Class of 2014 - the first graduating class at IMPACT Early College High School - Trejo will teach fifth grade bilingual language arts at Travis, and she is ready to make a difference in the lives of students just as many Goose Creek CISD teachers did in hers.

Following her pre-k year, Trejo’s family moved to Mexico, and she went to school there until fourth grade. Returning to Baytown, she enrolled at Bowie Elementary, where she was one of only two students who didn’t speak English well. She fondly remembers her teacher’s aide Patricia Corona, who helped her learn English.

“I felt thankful that she was always there for me and always encouraging me. I feel like that’s how teachers should be. She was someone who knew what I was going through, and she was able to help me – not just academically. That’s what I hope to be to my students,” Trejo said.

When she received her acceptance letter to IMPACT ECHS, she knew it was a good opportunity for her even though it would be rigorous. Although Trejo did not receive her associate degree from Lee College when she graduated from IMPACT, she had accumulated 60 hours and set off for Lamar University for the next two years, earning her bachelor of science degree in Spanish with a minor in communications. She had always been interested in teaching, so she substituted at all levels this past spring, taking a long-term aide position at Alamo Elementary in the New Arrival Center to learn more about classroom management and procedures. There she realized she could see everything through the eyes of her students.

“It was really humbling because that was me! I knew basics, but I didn’t really learn English until I was 10. Being there reminded me of how I was at one time,” Trejo said.

Now working with the Texas Teachers Alternative Certification Program, Trejo thinks her position at Travis is perfect for her, and she is grateful for the support she has received from her principal Mary Beebe. She has finally given up her waitress position at Iguana Joe’s, where she has worked off and on since she was 16, since she is now devoting her time to attending teacher inservice sessions and preparing her room for her students.

“I’ve always wanted to teach language arts, and I’m enjoying putting my first-week-of-school ideas together to get the students interested in reading and to let them get to know each other,” she said.

Trejo’s future plans include working on master’s and doctoral degrees, but for the time being, she is concentrating on enjoying her daughter, 9-month-old Angelica, and having a successful first year of teaching.

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