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In Colorado

Name: José Fresco
Grades: 9-12
Subject: Spanish level IV (IB-SL), and level VI (IB-HL).
Room Number: W-319
Phone: 612-668-3030
Voice Mail: 612-668-8982

¡¡¡Bienvenidos!!!  Welcome!!!  Me llamo José Fresco (Joe Cool) and I am from Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.  Yo vine aquí en 1980 to study at the University of Minnesota with the idea to go back to Bolivia once I finished my degree. However, things never go as planned. As you can see, I ended up staying, getting married and now we have the two most wonderful kids in the world, and they both attend Southwest now. Most of my  family (my mom, brothers, sister, nephews, etc) still live in Santa Cruz, but I have a sister who lives Europe also. I go back to visit my family in Bolivia every 2 or 3 years. Two summers ago we traveled to Spain, France and Andorra and we had the a great time going to the beaches, visiting museums, walking around very old cities, staying in old castles, and eating all sort of amazing foods. This past summer we traveled to Colorado to go mountain biking and my son beat this time. He is getting very good at it.

I am one of six Spanish teachers at Southwest and this is my twelfth year teaching at Southwest. Before Southwest, I taught at North High School for 7 years and before that, at The International School of Minnesota in Eden Prairie for one year.

This year again I am teaching Spanish Level IV and Spanish IB-HL (or level six). My classroom is in W-319. I usually arrive to school at 7:30 A.M.. and I don't leave until 4:30 P.M.... Parents, you are welcome to stop by anytime, before or after school if you want to talk to me, or even during class time to see what we are doing in the classroom. You don't need to call or make an appointment, just show up. And don't worry about interrupting the class, we won't even notice that you are there...we will do our best to ignore you.

Before teaching I worked at The Malt Shop (5 years), at Al's Breakfast in Dinkytown (another 5 years), at the U. of M. Hospital (for 14 years), at a bicycle shop (3 years) and at Dayton's (2 years).  At the hospital I worked at a pediatric station (5A) taking care of kids with cancer, Cystic Fibrosis, heart, kidney and liver diseases, and with kids who needed heart, kidney, liver and lung transplants. While taking care of the kids, I found myself helping them with their homework, and a coworker (thank you Ann Little) suggested that I should become a teacher, hence planting the seed. That is how I found my calling. A couple of years later I went back to school to get my degree in Spanish and my masters in education.

I began teaching in 1999, I enjoy it a lot, and I don't know when I am going to retire. Being in the classroom, interacting with the students, and seeing them learn and grow is an indescribable feeling. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing former students stop by to tell us what they are up to, especially what Spanish speaking countries they have visited or lived in. So, keep coming back to are always welcome.

In my classes, besides learning Spanish, they learn Hispanic culture from my life experiences in Bolivia and here in the USA. They will also learn songs, sayings, and most importantly, appreciation for the language. I will also reinforce what you, parents, teach them at home: be responsible, follow the rules, meet deadlines, respect one another, learn how to interact with classmates and teachers/adults in a positive way, learn how to advocate for themselves, have an open mind, and especially, be tolerant of others. These things are going to be more useful and helpful later in life than Spanish.

I like Southwest very much. The staff is great and so are the students and their parents. Students are polite, motivated, independent and most of all, very talented. Parents have been supportive and understanding and that is the reason why we have been the best public school in Minnesota a few times and we are still one of the best high schools in the state. I am lucky and thankful to teach at Southwest and I don't have anything but good things to say about the staff, the students and their families. Let's have another wonderful year!!!

¡¡¡Buena suerte!!!

Señor Fresco