JA Educator Spotlight: Alejandro Ortiz, Principal, DiLoreto Magnet School
Author: Jacqueline Lombardi
Published: Wednesday, 15 Dec 2021
Image caption: Alejandro Ortiz, Principal, DiLoreto Magnet School
Q: Why are you passionate about JA’s mission?
A: It's a great opportunity for the JA members and our students to get a bit of understanding about each other. The JA crew and their partners become teachers and begin quickly to build relationships with our students and staff as pseudo teachers, while our students benefit from their knowledge and experience in the workforce. A great partnership.
Q: How long have you been involved with JA and what got you involved?
A: I believe about six years now and it was brought to my attention by the previous Education Manager. It was brought to my attention what JA was all about. It provided an opportunity for partnering with many types of adults in the workforce for our students. They are able to get a snapshot of the many agencies, work experienced by the partners, and different job opportunities that are shared for our students.
Q: What made you want to pursue a career in education?
A: I was working at a summer camp for mentally and physically disabled children and adults for 11 years. I worked initially as a camp counselor, then head counselor, supervisor, and eventually the director of the camp. As I went to college, I had a passion for helping people in need of services and became a Special Education teacher.
Q: What is your favorite JA story or moment?
A: There was a time when we were a little short with lunch to feed some of my staff, as other members that were not included decided to eat also. Although it was innocent, Lisa and I found ourselves in a bit of a Jam, but we brainstormed together and were able to feed the remaining teachers and JA partners with pizza. Lisa and I joined heads at attacked a problem and we were bonded ever since.
Q: What do you hope your students take away from their time with you?
A: Ultimately to be good citizens, to love and respect one another. Treat themselves and the ones they care for well. Of course, to learn to the best of their ability as well and reach their academic potential.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do outside of work?
A: Spending time with my family, Boating and fishing, and reading a good book in my spare time.
We are truly lucky for great partnerships with schools and educators like Mr. Ortiz! Thank you for being a part of the JA family!