Serving the community since 1970

Palm Avenue Middle School brings on district's youngest teacher

Palm Avenue Middle School welcomed a new teacher this year, which turns out to be the youngest teacher in the school and the district. Melanie Ramirez is 21 years old and was part of the first graduating class of the Wasco high school wonderful program back in 2019 consisting of about 40 to 50 graduating students.

"I became the youngest teacher because I enrolled in dual enrollment at the age of 13 and when I was 17 I graduated with both my associate degree and highschool diploma," Ramirez said.

After graduating from Wasco High she went on to earn her bachelor's degree in Spanish at California State University Bakersfield, she received her degree back in 2021.

Though she is quite successful, it did not come without a few trials. Ramirez said, "The biggest bump I faced was covid, I did a lot of classes online so I don't get that one-on-one experience that you would normally get from college. I continued going to school and created study groups. I made sure I remained organized and turned in my assignments on time."

She had the plan to become a Spanish teacher or a college professor. Although she had a completed bachelor's degree, you need teaching credentials in the State of california so Ramirez enrolled to get her single subject teaching credentials.

During her time in the teaching credential program she student taught at Wasco high school with Spanish teachers Rosa Ocampo and Arturo Navarrete.

Ramirez is grateful for the Wonderful program, "without this program I wouldn't be where I am now with a career that I have grown to really love and enjoy," Ramirez said.

After receiving both her Assoisiates and bachelor's degree, Ramirez had an opportunity to become a teacher. "I had an amazing friend mirandy quiñonez who informed me about an opening at Palm Ave Middle School for an english teacher so I decided to give myself an opportunity and applied to the position, I had my interview and a few days later I got a call back saying that I had the job." Ramirez Said.

Ramirez says that she wanted to become a teacher, "to help inspire young teens and youth to achieve their goals to continue going to school to accomplish all of their long term goals." "I love where I am, I hope I can make a difference in school and the community."

Ramirez teaches around 130 students and she says that, "I wake up every morning and i'm excited to come to work because these students make an impact on my life and I hope I am making an impact on their lives because they are the reason that I enjoy coming to work everyday."

With great success come great mentors and Ramirez says she owes a lot of thanks to Rosa Ocampo a spanish teacher at Wasco high and Guadalupe Soto. As well as her parents who pushed and encouraged her through her highschool career. "Although my parents encouraged me to sign up I knew that this program was right for me", Ramirez said.


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