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We asked our award winners questions to describe what thier award means to them and what advice would they give to new educators and staff beginning their journey.

For our third and final interview for Part 3 of a 3-part series, we spoke with Pearl Award Winner, Jean Felix.

What’s your title and school location?

TSA New Teacher Support, District Office

Academic Coach, Mission Park Elementary School

How many years of teaching?

20 years

What brought you to Salinas City Elementary School District?

The school district was highly regarded when I started teaching and I desired to be a part of the team. I wanted to educate students from diverse demographic and cultural communities.

What keeps you motivated and inspired on a dialy basis?

The smiles and enthusiasm of our students keeps me motivated. My inspiration is directly connected to the dedication and professionalism that everyone (classified and classified) exhibits throughout the day, at each and every site. This desire to make a difference is what inspires me to be better, to be supportive and to be the best person I can be.

What does your award mean to you?

This award is very humbling for me; there were so many amazing people who were nominated for the Pearl. I am also extremely honored because I feel valued and appreciated for my dedication to my profession.

What is the most gratifying thing about your job?

Working with so many wonderful people!

Any advice for new educators?

Remember you are educating someone’s child and someday that child will be an integral part of our community. Treat everyone (students and coworkers) with respect and honor, build relationships and don’t be afraid to take a risk.