Virginia Garza NÚÑEZ

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We are entering part 2 of our 3-part series highlighting our Welcome Back Breakfast Employee Award Winners from the 2017-18 school year.

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

For our first interview in the February District Newsletter, we spoke with Lead Learner Award Winner, Virginia Garza Núñez.

What’s your title and school location?

Director of Accountability and Assessment, District Office

How many years of teaching/experience?

24 years with Salinas City Elementary School District

What brought you to Salinas City Elementary School District?

I was born and raised in Salinas. I'm also proud to be a product of SCESD, in that I attended Soberanes and Natividad Elementary Schools. After graduating from Pepperdine University, I decided to come back home and teach in the very same district that contributed in making me into the long life learner that I am.

What keeps you motivated and inspired on a daily basis?

I do what I love because I love what I do! I've had the blessing over the past twenty-four years to live this saying by passionately serving the students, families, and educators of the SCESD. What keeps me motivated is knowing that whatever position I have held (Teacher, Vice-Principal, Principal, and currently Director) has been critically important in providing the best education that we can give our students. I love visiting our schools and especially meeting with our students because I see myself in them. I do not take for granted how my work has the capability to help better their lives. I try to instill in my sons all the time that we have been placed in this world to serve others so my conviction is to lead by example.

What does your award mean to you?

I am truly humbled in receiving this award because I work with so many outstanding educators. This award just reinforces my commitment and dedication to our amazing district. My team members inspire me on a daily basis to be the best that I can be. I am grateful for my SCESD family. Additionally, I love learning and learning truly is a lifelong endeavor. To be a lead learner means that I get to share much of the knowledge and learning that I have partaken in throughout my career in a collaborative manner.

What is the most gratifying thing about your job?

One of the most gratifying things about my job is building positive relationships, especially with the students and parents that we serve. It is so rewarding to reunite with one of your former students and find out how successful they have become. More satisfying is hearing from them how much of a difference I made in their lives. I wholeheartedly believe in our district and am so proud to share that my two sons are also products of SCESD.    

Any advice for new educators?

I believe that in order for us to be successful in our craft, we need to truly get to know our students. When I go back to my childhood, the teachers that I remember the most are the ones that really took the time to get to know me, my struggles, and pushed me to be the best that I could be. Children don't really care how much you know until they know how much you care.