Teacher Appreciation Week
For many of our educators in Highline, teaching is a calling. Some were always drawn to the profession. Others found it later in life.
In recognition of Teacher Appreciation Week, we are sharing the stories of three Highline teachers. We asked what inspired them to become educators and what keeps them motivated. While each story is unique, they all share a deep commitment to student success.
Teacher Ari Rodriguez spent more than a decade working in customer service, but it never felt like the right fit. She wanted to make an impact on her community. Ari spent two years working as a bilingual paraeducator in Highline while pursuing her teaching certificate through the Bilingual Teaching Fellows program. As a dual language teacher at White Center Heights Elementary School, Ari has found her home.
After spending time in the US Army, Joe Bourgeois found himself working as a school resource officer. It was interacting with students that inspired him to become an educator. Now in his 11th year working in Highline, Joe teaches more than math at Sylvester Middle School; he is educating young people to be their best selves.
Joanna Rodriguez developed a passion for marine biology at a young age. After learning the field has very few people of color, particularly females, she was inspired to work toward making the next generation of marine biologists more diverse. As a founding teacher at Maritime High School, Joanna is delivering on her commitment to give her students equitable access to college opportunities and careers in and around the water.