By NAYELLI BERMUDEZ

Nayelli Bermudez: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Daren Espinoza, Redlands East Valley High School English Support Teacher: I have been a teacher for 27 years, and I was also the head baseball coach for 21 of those years. I taught and coached at Rialto High School for 17 years, then was a teacher and head coach at Citrus Valley for five more.  I came to REV for this school year to be the English Learner coordinator. I have taught EL classes for over 20 years. I am half mexican and half irish. I have seven siblings. I played baseball in high school, junior college, and a four year school. High school was San G, JC was San Bernardino Valley College, and four-year was University of Redlands.

Bermudez: How did you learn to speak Spanish?

Espinoza: I learned from my grandmother.  She did not speak Englishm, and she was my babysitter for the first 7 years of my life, so I really had no choice.

Bermudez: What do you do here at REV/ what is your official title?

Espinoza: My official title is High School English support teacher.  I am in charge of all EL students. I make sure they have the support they need, and I monitor their grades, attendance, tests etc. I also teach one English 9 class and one English 10 class.

Bermudez: What is your favorite part about being an EL Coordinator?

Espinoza: I used to be an EL student myself, so I know what it feels like to have two languages in your life. I love creating relationships with kids and helping them realize their dreams.

Bermudez: What is your educational background?

Espinoza: I have an Associates Degree from San Bernardino Valley College. I have a Bachelor Arts from the University of Redlands. My major was English Literature. I have a masters from Cal State in curriculum and instruction and I also have a BCLAD and CLAD teacher credential. I can teach all grades K-12.

Bermudez: What are some hobbies you have outside of school?

Espinoza: I weight train and run every morning prior to work. I also play a lot of tennis. I have written one book, and I play the guitar just about everyday.

Bermudez: Do you think it’s important to be bilingual and why?

Espinoza: In this day and age it is vital.  It opens doors for people. Back when I was a kid it was frowned upon, but now it’s a great skill to have.

Bermudez: Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself or say to our bilingual readers?

Espinoza: Read the good books, listen to the good music and exercise. Do those three things everyday.