Jaime Reyes Celebrated as Teacher of the Year
El Monte City School District (EMCSD) celebrated Jaime Reyes from New Lexington School as the district’s official Teacher of the Year. He was also recognized by the Los Angeles County Office of Education at their annual Teachers of the Year Luncheon this Fall.
Mr. Reyes is a proud product of EMCSD, attending both Shirpser and Gidley Schools before returning as an after-school ASPIRE lead and substitute teacher. “Those two jobs prepared me so much for what I do today. As a former student, I always knew that I wanted to give back to my community.”
His interest in teaching started with his brother, who taught at Wilkerson, another EMCSD school. “He really influenced me, so when I got the opportunity through ASPIRE to work with EMCSD students, it cemented the idea that I wanted to be a teacher.” New Lex Principal Helen Guo-Perez praised his commitment to their school, “Jaime is a beacon of dedication, a champion of student-centered education, and a tech-savvy mentor to all. He has a heart for students, a helping hand for colleagues, and unwavering support for families; his commitment shines as bright as his award!"
He teaches 5th Grade at New Lexington School, but to his school community, Mr. Reyes is much more. Whether he is organizing their Fit-Kids morning walk club, designing school spirit shirts, or organizing lunchtime soccer tournaments, Mr. Reyes has no one-defined role. “He wears multiple hats, including Teaching Assistant Principal and Technology Lead,” explained fellow New Lex teacher Linda Holtz. “I know any teacher can ask him a question, and he will provide a logical way to solve any problem. He is so deserving of this award because of his positivity, leadership, and encouragement of students to reach their goals. It’s an honor to work alongside him.”
EMCSD Superintendent Dr. Maribel Garcia commends Mr. Reyes for representing the district and community. “Jaime Reyes is an inspirational educator. We are so proud to have a former student actively commit to serving his community and passionately uplifting his students, colleagues, and school. We are grateful for the work he does at New Lexington and the impact he is making in and outside of the classroom.”
Growing up in El Monte made this accomplishment that much sweeter for Mr. Reyes. He reflected on the day the announcement was made. “Mrs. Guo-Perez said she needed my assistance in the cafeteria, and as I was walking there, I could hear lots of noise, so I was concerned. When I walked in, I was completely shocked, seeing all the students and my family there with signs. I had lost my dad a few months earlier, so I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling a bit emotional.” Mr. Reyes credits his father as a major influence in his life, “I felt like I had made him proud, even though he wasn’t physically with me.”