Maria Delgado knew that teaching her native language and culture was what she truly wanted to do with her life. But, she had to take the necessary steps to reach her goal.

Delgado began her career with Copperas Cove ISD during the 2017-2018 school year as a long-term substitute teacher at S. C. Lee Junior High. She completed alternative teaching certification but did not take her Spanish exam. So, CCISD could not offer her a teaching contract. Although she had no permanent job with the school district, Delgado attended all of the professional development classes she could because she wanted to be successful, said former principal, Kayleen Love.

“Compensation did not matter, she wanted to be everything for the students. She did not receive any compensation for the time she spent outside of the official school year or the school day,” Love said. “Once school began, she stayed late and came in early for duty and tutorials. Mrs. Delgado is an extemporary teacher that plans engaging lessons and is excited about the content she teaches.”

Delgado successful passed her Spanish teaching exam and is back at S. C. Lee this year. Nearly all of Delgado’s classes had 30+ students last year and this school year is no exception.

“Mrs. Delgado does everything possible to allow every student the opportunity to take Spanish. She never says no,” Love said. “She is excited to be at Lee and excited to be teaching. She is kind to everyone she meets, and she always has a smile on her face. The students love her personally and as their teacher. They know without a doubt that Mrs. Delgado cares about each of them and will help them when they struggle.”

Delgado’s Spanish classroom is very interactive. There are posters and informational material covering the walls to help students master the language. From Day of the Dead celebratory traditions to a Spanish Christmas, Delgado teaches students lessons they can apply to real-world events.

“When you walk in to this classroom, you see student lead learning. The students are excited and participating in whatever lesson is happening that day. The tone in the room is exciting from teacher and students,” Love said. “They begin by walking in the door with a greeting and leave with a smile. Mrs. Delgado assigns projects that mean something to the students; they take ownership of their learning and have been very successful.”

Delgado was name S. C. Lee’s 2018 Rookie Teacher of the Year.

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