School districts that hire teachers from alternative certification programs report that 90 percent of these teachers were as good as or better than other beginning teachers at their schools.
- Anderson Valley Elementary School, Boonville
- Kindergarten and High School, in the subjects of ESL, Spanish and Kindergarten reading to limited English proficiency students
- Was a parent volunteer, Teacher’s Aid and Bilingual Specialist before becoming a teacher
Esther Soto enjoys several titles: wife, mother, and the very first teacher in the Anderson Valley district who is “home grown.” Moving to California from Mexico as a young child, Soto attended school in the Anderson Valley School District, as did her three children. She first gave back as a classroom volunteer, then Teacher’s Aide and finally Bilingual Specialist. Always wanting her children to come first, Esther waited until her youngest was in 5th grade before enrolling in night classes (driving 45 minutes each way) and earning her degree and credential.
Diligently working with her mentor, in the classroom and on coursework, she felt confident and prepared after going through the intern program and calls her first day in the classroom a “Dream Come True.” A woman who once struggled herself with the English language, Esther now helps students in the very same situation. Her unique background and unrelenting dedication make her a proud, successful Latino role model. Another testament to that fact? Esther’s oldest daughter just graduated from the University of California, Davis and is pursuing a career in teaching as well.