New teachers bring international flare to GPISD

........ For Edna Gallardo leaving the Philippines and moving to America to teach math and science in the Galena Park Independent School District was an easy decision.
........“I wanted to try something different,” Gallardo said. “I feel this experience will help me grow in my career.”
........After a 13-hour plane ride, Gallardo arrived at her new home in Houston. She brings a positive attitude and nine years of teaching experience to students at MacArthur Elementary School.
........Gallardo and 51 other international teachers from Spain, Canada, Mexico and the Philippines received a warm welcome at a reception hosted by Galena Park ISD administrators, the board of trustees and the Hispanic Forum. For the past four years, the district has been committed to recruiting teachers from other countries to compensate for the critical teacher shortage in Texas. This year, the district hired 189 new teachers.
........“We believe that our international teachers enrich both the educational experiences of our students and the community,” Henry Espinosa, director of recruitment, said. “These teachers are talented and energetic and they’re ready to serve.”
........During the reception, Gallardo met other new teachers such as Michelle Klaassen, who arrived from Canada for her first teaching experience. “I know it will be a challenge, but it will be great fun.”
........Teachers from Mexico have also joined the Galena Park ISD team this year. Guillermo Olmedo, who taught English for a year, drove for nearly two days to reach GPISD. “I found the profession really exciting and decided to make teaching my chosen career.”
........According to Al Pavone, director of human resources – secondary, the district is fortunate to find quality teachers from around the world. “Not only are these folks great teachers, but they’re also great people. It’s truly incredible to see their enthusiasm and their drive to educate students.”
........Like Olmedo and Klaassen, Gallardo will keep in touch with family by phone and email. “I’ve only been gone a week or so and I’ve called home four times. I miss them, but I’m excited about what’s ahead. I know I made the right decision.”