Fourteen new Oklahoma City Public School teachers were welcomed with pomp and circumstance at the Will Rogers Airport on Tuesday.
The district recruited these teachers from Puerto Rico to help the growing Spanish speaking population within its schools.
“Oh [I am] very excited, very emotion[al]. A lot of feelings together. We left our family behind but we are together,” said Wilmiaris Ruiz, new OKCPS bilingual teacher.
Ruiz is one of the 14 teachers recruited by the district from Puerto Rico to help with the growing Spanish speaking population. Hundreds of applicants apply for these positions.
After five days of interviews, Oklahoma City Public Schools chose these 14 teachers .
“All of our interviews were conducted in English and these teachers are bilingual. They are experienced teachers,” said Shannon Freeman, Director of Recruitment for OKCPS.
“At the beginning I cried because I was, we were thinking about moving to Oklahoma five years ago so it was the greatest thing of our life,” said Ruiz.
Each of the teachers are given one-year contacts and competitive salaries. But for Henry Albino, he hopes to leave more than a yearlong impact with the bilingual special education students he'll be teaching.
“When the child does not understand the language at all and you combine that with the cultural difficulties and the family situations, then schools cannot do the best for the kids,” said Albino, new OKCPS bilingual teacher.
All of these teachers willingly uprooted their lives to provide new opportunities for their own families and hopefully to give their bilingual students a brighter future.
“We want to work and we want to do our best here so it doesn't matter the school,” said Ruiz.