Moon Area School District (MASD) English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher, Ms. Nichole Rojas, has been making a name for herself in the ESL community this year.
Rojas works with her ESL counterpart in the District, Debbie Kailer, to put on an ESL Family Night each year. The night is devoted to offering information on local resources for ESL families and students and to also brings many different members and groups of the community together.
Rojas also runs the Summer Intensive English Language program for high school students to continue working toward English language proficiency.
In late May, Rojas was invited to participate as part of a panel discussion on the topic of building inclusive schools. The discussion was part of a global exchange through Welcoming America and their partnership with COMPAS (Oxford University’s Centre on Migration, Policy, and Society) through their Inclusive Cities program.
Welcoming America’s mission is to improve the lives of immigrants and refugees throughout the world. Participants included those from the U.S. and 15 elected officials from the United Kingdom with various speaking sessions were held over a two-day period in Pittsburgh.
In addition to speaking on the panel, Rojas was awarded the Community Citation of Recognition from Allegheny County Executive, Rich Fitzgerald, this June. The award comes after Rojas completed the ESL Professional Learning Community program through All for All, a local social-enterprise aimed at helping ESL professionals create a more inclusive and welcoming community.
Rojas’ work has also been recognized in the Pittsburgh area. In late June, Rojas was nominated by The Incline, a Pittsburgh digital news outlet, for the “Who’s Next” series. This award highlights young professionals each month who are making an impact in their line of work.
“We are proud of the accomplishments Ms. Rojas has achieved in her role as an ESL Program Specialist with the District,” said Mr. Michael Haslett, Director of Pupil Services for MASD. “The recognition of her work is a tribute to her impact and dedication to the community.”
“She is truly dedicated to creating a welcoming environment and celebrating cultural diversity within the District,” he said.