New teacher at GES comes with impressive accolades
Gabriela Sorto will teach third grade at George Elementary next school year. But if you ask her, she will tell you she hopes to teach a little more than that.
A Quincy product, Sorto said she wants the students in her first-ever teaching job to learn that if she could do it, they can, too, no matter the circumstances.
“I want to show kids in a Title I school that it’s possible,” she said, using the federal government’s descriptor for schools with a large population of low-income students.
Sorto said she started out as a student in the Quincy School District and then moved on to Big Bend Community College and Central Washington University, where she graduated cum laude with a degree in elementary education on June 8. CWU also named her the best student-teacher of its College of Education this year.
Her career as a teacher will begin in September, but for Sorto, the journey to the front end of the classroom started a few years back.
“Children were always close to my heart,” she said, adding that it wasn’t until she finished her first year at Big Bend that she decided to become a teacher.
“Every time I thought about doing something else, I would tell myself, ‘who are you kidding? Just go with it,’ ” Sorto said.
She did, and then some, making the Dean’s List 11 times between BBCC and CWU, graduating with honors and as the best student-teacher among 500 fellow graduates. John Bartkowski, a teacher at CWU whom Sorto refers to as her mentor, nominated her.
Bartkowski called Sorto a “natural-born teacher” who is “always ready to meet the challenges of each school day.”
Bartkowski’s nomination and praise “moved me to tears,” Sorto said, adding that she found out about the honor in April.
Now that the start of her career looms ahead, Sorto has lofty goals for her first year staring back at all those sets of eager third-grader eyes.
“I think a good year would be one where I develop relationships with the students,” said Sorto, 23. “A year like that would just be a dream for me.”
By Sebastian Moraga, For the Post-Register