Visionary Valdez

The impact of Valdez on his students

If you are walking down the world language hallway and hear loud chatter from a classroom or see students in the halls laughing, it most likely means that Jorge Valdez is near. Valdez has been a Spanish teacher here for the past 10 years. He first moved to Missouri after previously living in Merida, Mexico located on the Yucatán Peninsula. After getting a degree in art, Valdez became a graphic designer but eventually stumbled upon a teaching job.

“The whole thing that brought me to teach was I want to share what I know,” Valdez said. “I’m not only a teacher. For 14 years, I did graphic design, I was in the Missouri Army National Guard for 19 years, and I grew up in Mexico. I have so many neat experiences that I want to share with my students.”

10 years of teaching and countless students later, he still seeks the importance of forming connections with his students.

“I like to find out about students and learn their backgrounds,” Valdez said. “I like to see what my students are capable of and how far they are going to go.”

Valdez’s stories and engaging teaching style impacts students even after they move on from his class.

“The way that Valdez kept class light and fun made Spanish entertaining for me,” junior Ben Nemnich said. “Not only did I learn the basics of Spanish, but I also got to form a connection with a teacher who I know I can go to for a good laugh.”

Even though Valdez never intended to become a Spanish teacher, the impact he made on his students makes him glad that he did.