June 13, 2008
Robin León has been a bilingual teacher for 32 years. Parent Ana Mendoza has served as chairwoman of the District English Learner Advisory Committee. León and Mendoza each are integral to the success of John J. Montgomery Elementary School.
Now, they are also recipients of a 2008 “Leadership in Biliteracy” Award. The two Montgomery Elementary honorees were formally recognized at the 10th Annual Biliteracy Symposium, sponsored recently by the San Diego County Office of Education. District biliteracy honorees were recognized from throughout the county at the event.
León has been in the Chula Vista Elementary School District for 22 years. Each fall, the bilingual kindergarten teacher goes out of her way to help parents understand the importance of their decision to opt for the bilingual program. She gives generously of her time to provide guidance to parents on how to support their child.s learning at home.
Mendoza is a strong advocate for English learners and their families. She started a book exchange at Montgomery. She also holds annual book fairs at the school, where she dedicates so much of her time. She started an “Action Team Partnership Program” as a second source of fund-raising and parent advocacy for the book exchange.
Montgomery Principal Cris-tina Flores-Speer said León and Mendoza each promote high expectations in students’ literacy. “They really do have their hearts in the right place,” Flores-Speer said. “They want students to develop skills in both languages, English and Spanish. They both believe you don’t have to lose one language to develop the other.”