Now that classes have been in session for a month, Clark County School District teachers have gotten to know all of their students and have settled into their daily routine.
Sunrise Acres Elementary School Principal Margarita Gamboa has vivid memories of her childhood and many of the teachers who helped guide her through the fabulous world of learning. Just like her, being in the presence of students causes many teachers to reflect upon their own education experiences.
“It wasn’t easy,” said Gamboa. “But dreams do come true.”
Because of the impact teachers had on her life, Gamboa decided to become a teacher herself, teaching for eight years before she moved into administration. Once she became an administrator, she set a goal of having all of her teachers and staff do their best to help their students excel and discover what interests and talents they have that will lead to a future career.
“Let’s ensure that students are equipped with the tools to follow their passion,” Gamboa would say to her staff.
Gamboa recalled one particular student who started attending school at Sunrise Acres many years ago. The girl was very nervous about going to school, especially since she did not speak any English.
“Back then, the student was afraid to speak because they might pronounce words incorrectly,” said Gamboa. “Teachers encouraged her by telling the girl to keep trying, not give up and that she could do it.
In scanning the classrooms, Gamboa can relate to the children who are in the same situation as that former student, because that former student she was thinking about was her.
From the scared and nervous student at Sunrise Acres Elementary School, Gamboa was able to learn English, excel in her studies, and then pursue a career in education, where she eventually became principal of the school she attended as a child.
When she speaks to current students and parents who are in a similar situation to that of hers years ago, she reminds them that dreams can become a reality – because she was able to do it and they can too.
“I have to sometimes pinch myself, because I can’t believe I’m the principal of the elementary school I attended as a child,” said Gamboa. “It feels amazing! I’m honored and it’s all because of dedicated, hard-working teachers.”