Stapp Inspires Educator Spotlight- A Mirror of the Intangible

Welcome back to our Stapp Inspires Educator Spotlight! If you are joining us for the first time, we are glad you found us. If you have been following us, thank you for keep coming back every month as we highlight different educators making a positive impact on St. Vrain Valley Schools. Every June is special, as we start another year of inspiring stories. This month we are headed to Westview Middle School to highlight Spanish and Computer Science Teacher, Monica Moreno-Martinez. This St. Vrain alumnus finished her 15th year teaching in May.


Monica credits her parents and former Skyline English teacher, Roger Hebert, for inspiring her journey into teaching. Her parents encouraged her to continue, furthering her education and supported a strong work ethic. Mr. Hebert also sparked her interest and desire to go to college. Her goal has always been to come back to St.Vrain Valley Schools and give back to her community.  She has found a passion in education that will have lasting effects on generations to come.


One of Monica’s favorite classes is her Computer Science or STEM class. This past semester her class was comprised primarily of young Latina women. She said that she has been able to create a community for these students that is family-like. She relishes in her roll of being a cultural mirror to her students of what is possible for them. Her heart for these underrepresented populations can not be contained. Her excitement and passion to help her students is why her classroom is always full during passing periods, lunch, and after school.


A co-worker noticed this and encouraged Monica to launch Earth Explorers. This is a class meant to attract underrepresented youth in science fields which includes minorities and women. This class meets and works with scientists from labs such as CU and NOAA in order to see real science, math, and technology in action. Students experience the scientist’s labs first hand.


Monica explained the challenges she faced as a minority student and how she desires to be a role model for her students. She wants to be the teacher she needed when she was in middle school. This desire allows her to bring and celebrate not only her culture but her student’s culture into her classroom. Her classroom is a space where students can feel a sense of belonging and to learn that they have a cheerleader in their corner.


Monica’s concern and care for her students lasts long after her students leave middle school. She has been known to offer assistance in helping her former students find scholarships and navigate the college admissions process. She will always offer advice to anyone who asks for it. She finds satisfaction in teaching the intangibles and watching them succeed beyond her classroom.


I asked Monica for ‘the one thing’ she wanted her students to take away from her classroom. She responded, “Never lose sight of who you are and where you came from. Use the past to embrace new experiences. Reach for the stars and don’t let obstacles stand in your way. Find a way to see past them.”


Monica thank you for taking the time to share your heart for your students. We wish you another wonderful school year!


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