The Alumni Teach Project (ATP) Continues with Cohort 9

By: Sarah Seinfeld (Director of Teaching and Learning) & Cohort 9 Residents

Our next cohort of teacher residents are already settling into their school site placements and showing great progress on learning foundational teaching skills. All of the Cohort 9 residents were graduates of PUC Schools and are committed fulfilling PUC’s Commitment #3 by to giving back to their communities and teaching for a minimum of 5 years at PUC schools. This year’s cohort includes Darline Alvarado, Jessica Escojido, Nick Murillo, and Stephanie Portillo.

Darline Alvarado has been part of the PUC community since 2007 where she attended CALS Middle school and subsequently attended CALS High School. She is currently placed at Community Charter Middle School and working with Mrs. Brown, co teaching 8th grade English. Having graduated from Cal State LA in 2019 with a Bachelor’s in English, she decided that ATP was the right program for her to grow into the teacher role that she had explored in college. She hopes to watch her students grow and succeed in all of their goals and hopes to provide them with after school activities like a theater club. A fun fact about Darline is that she enjoys roller skating in her free time.

Jessica Escojido began her journey with PUC Schools in 2009 as part of Nueva Esperanza’s first graduating class, followed by attending Lakeview Charter High School in 2012. She continued with PUC throughout her time at California State University Northridge, serving as a College Liaison for 3 years. Having earned a Bachelor’s degree in biology, Jessica wanted to share her passion of science with students all while supporting her community, making ATP her dream program. She is currently placed at her former high school, co-teaching 9th grade biology with her mentor Mrs. Pantazis. She hopes to inspire her students to attend college and pursue what brings them joy in life. In her free time, Jessica enjoys watching movies with family and baking.

Nick Murillo attended Triumph Charter Academy and in his transition to high school, became part of the first class to attend Lakeview Charter High School. After graduating from LCHS, he went on to attend and graduate from California State University Northridge, where he majored in History. Nick decided to pursue teaching due to his experiences working with students in after school settings and in organizations like Hermanos Unidos. He is excited to come back to his alma mater to teach history with his mentor Mr. Fong and to have an impact on students the same way that his teachers impacted him. Nick is the youngest of three siblings and loves watching soccer.

Stephanie Portillo attended PUC CALS Charter Middle School and continued on to PUC CALS Early College High School where she graduated in 2016. She embarked on her higher education journey at UC Irvine and four years later, she proudly graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Education Sciences. Stephanie could not think of a better way to share her passion for education than to continue on with PUC as an Inclusion Assistant for PUC Triumph Charter Academy. Wanting give back to her community, Stephanie decided to apply to the PUC ATP program so that she could pursue her dream of becoming an English teacher. She is currently co-teaching at Nueva Esperanza Charter Academy with Mrs. Mejia-Gonzalez in 6th grade ELA. Stephanie is very excited to learn and grow as an educator and hopes to gain as many skills as possible to be able to apply to her own classroom one day. Fun facts about Stephanie are that she loves sushi and she is the youngest of 10 older siblings!

Darline, Jessica, Nick, and Stephanie are an inspiration to their students and their colleagues, as representatives of the ultimate vision of PUC. The ATP program is open to PUC alumni and community members who wish to make an impact in the communities we serve. If you or anyone you know is interested in learning more about the program, please visit our website: www.pucschools.org/atp or contact Sarah at s.seinfeld@pucschools.org.