I would like to introduce Eric Saavedra, our new Assistant Director. His background includes a wide variety of experiences both in and out of the country, and knows firsthand the diverse nature of Adult Education both here and abroad. Please join me in welcoming him to the Adult School community!
I am so happy and proud to be a part of this great “team” of staff and students at the San Mateo Adult School. San Mateo Adult School has a deserved reputation for being a leader amongst adult schools in California, and one of the things that make the school unique is the caring and supportive interaction between staff and students that creates such a positive school culture. I recently witnessed the student council elections for the first time and was inspired when I saw the whole student body participate with such vigor and enthusiasm in this democratic exercise, through which they would become self-empowered and their own advocates for change. It was a very moving experience and a model of civic participation.
A little bit about my own background: Since the age 10 I lived in the south San Jose/Morgan Hill area. But prior to that, my family moved around quite a lot, including a two-year stay in Mexico. I went to college at UC Berkeley where I studied English Literature. Soon after graduating, I got my first job working as an Employment and Training Specialist for Santa Cruz County, where I focused on serving Latino youth in the Watsonville area. After working there for a year I decided to join the Peace Corps. I had a great experience as a volunteer in both Yemen and Morocco, serving as a college ESL instructor. During and after my Peace Corps service, I travelled throughout Africa and Asia. I also worked in Germany for a little over a year as an assistant project manager for a direct marketing firm.
My career in adult education started when I returned home from my work and travels abroad. Adult education seemed like a natural extension of the kind of work I did as a Peace Corps volunteer, the kind of work I love—working with multicultural adult learners and reaching out to those that need help in overcoming barriers to better employment and educational opportunities. Program-wise I have taught ESL, citizenship, ABE/GED, Adult Diploma, and concurrent High School students. Prior to my job at San Mateo Adult School, I had worked fulltime for ten years as the CalWORKs Site Representative and EL Civics Coordinator at Morgan Hill Community Adult School.
I believe strongly in the mission of adult education and have worked extensively with training providers, community based organizations, and governmental agencies to provide the services students need. For this reason I look forward to working collaboratively with the staff here at San Mateo Adult School, and I feel lucky to have outstanding role models in Mr. Teshara and Mr. Doyle and look forward to working with them and our extended Adult School family.