As she walks around the classroom, Ms. Gonzalez takes of sip of her coffee then begins to help a student with a math problem. The other kids around her are talking as they work on their homework. She smiles as she makes her way over to another student who needs help. If you are lucky enough to say that you have been in Ms. G.’s class, then you probably can spot her in the halls, or out and about off campus. You can easily recognize her long brown hair falling in curls down the back of her favorite black sweater. Her jeans cuff right above her black wedges, which give her 5 foot 1 inch frame a few extra inches, so her students won’t tower over her. We had the pleasure of interviewing Ms. G. and can’t wait to tell you a little bit more about one of the best teachers at Hermosa Valley.
Ms. Gonzalez’s family is international. Her grandparents were both born in Italy (Scioli and Rome). Ms. Gonzalez’s father was born in Cuba. Since it was unsafe there, a family sponsored them to move to America when her father was nine. In America, Monique’s dad meet her mom. They go married in highschool, and had Ms. G. and her sister were in their early twenties when Monique was born on June 29th in Arcadia, California. Around the age of four, Ms. Gonzalez’s parents divorced, and remarried her now stepmother and stepfather. Ms. Gonzalez is the second oldest out of her six siblings, consisting of: two sisters and three brothers!
Growing up, soccer played a large role in Ms. Gonzalez’s life. When she was very young, her best friend played, and introduced her to it. Monique has loved soccer ever since. Ms. Gonzalez also enjoyed gymnastics, but preferred dribbling a soccer ball up field and scoring a goal, over doing tricks on mats and balancing on a beam. Later on in her soccer journey, Ms. G tore her ACL and meniscus in her knee during a game, and had two knee surgeries to repair the blow. Unfortunately, this meant she could no longer play competitively, or look to soccer for a career. You can probably still see her playing for fun sometimes, but she has retired her cleats and shin guards for the most part.
In her free time, Ms. G. visits her sister, niece and nephew up in Pasadena. Monique said, “If I have a weekend open, I would rather go spend it with my family.” She tries to visit them once a week because Monique really enjoys being with the people she loves. On most weeknights, Ms. G grades papers, sets up lessons and watches TV. Grey’s Anatomy is a must see for her, and like most of us, she tries not to get sucked into reality shows but always seems to fail.
While watching TV, Ms. G loves to snuggle her kitty, Peaches. This sassy white cat’s name is special to her. When Ms. Gonzalez was a child, she had a cat named Peaches. One day, it was put outside, and ran away! The new Peaches is only an inside cat, so she hopefully won’t need a third Peaches. Along with the cat, Ms. G had many pets growing up. Her stepdad had a Collie, and a few years after it passed away, they got a Yellow Lab and Chocolate Lab (Lucky and Smokey). When Monique went to college, both Labs passed away. Now her parents have two German Shepherds, Chief and Lexi. Ms. Gonzalez loves all of her pets, but Peaches is probably the only cat she will ever own.
Monique loves her job, and thanks to a great education at Arizona State, she will be teaching for years to come. Sometime last year, Ms. Tsosie and Ms. Gonzalez attended Cal State Long Beach to get their Masters in Administration. Now with this additional degree, Ms. G. can be a principal or vice principal if she would like to, but teaching is her passion. If she were to do something else, Ms. G would ideally want to stay in Hermosa as a math coach, so she would have a larger role in leadership. It’s very clear to us that Ms. Monique never wants to leave the classroom, and hopes to keep teaching in Hermosa for many more years.
Ms. Gonzalez would feel discouraged sometimes through her college and teaching career. At one point, she was going to drop out and try something new, but then she decided to keep pursuing her dream. If she were to stop studying teaching, she told us she would like to become the spokesperson who interviewed all the professional athletes after their games. Teaching was and still is her calling, so is glad she stuck with her career choice. We laughed that it would be hard for Ms. G with her height to interview the athletes, and are glad she became a teacher at Hermosa Valley.
Don’t just take our word for it! Many other people have the same opinion as we do.
“Ms. Gonzalez is the best!” -Reece
“She is a very nice teacher.”-Margaux
“Ms. Gonzalez is a very nice and funny teacher.” -Ty
“We all love Ms. Gonzalez!” -Drew and Heather