The Story of Señor Quintero

Reshini Premaratne, Staff Writer

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Señor Ernesto Quintero, Maggie Walker’s newest Spanish teacher, teaches several different levels of the language at the school.

Srishti Sanya
Señor Ernesto Quintero, Maggie Walker’s newest Spanish teacher, teaches several different levels of the language at the school.

Some teachers, especially those who teach a foreign language, aim to create a completely authentic environment for students to learn and immerse themselves in all that is the culture and the language. However, it seems that Ernesto Quintero, the newest Spanish teacher at Maggie Walker, is doubly as prepared to make this a reality.

From Maracaibo, Venezuela, Señor Quintero comes from a big family, one that he makes sure to visit every year. Even as a high schooler in Venezuela tutoring other students in English, he knew he wanted to pursue a career in teaching. Coming to the United States in 2002 to study this profession only further cemented his ambitions in sharing his knowledge with students and better preparing them for the future. In fact, one of his favorite aspects about teaching is the people that he gets to interact with and watching them learn the necessary skills to communicate competently in Spanish.

From Maracaibo, Venezuela, Señor Quintero comes from a big family, one that he makes sure to visit every year.”

For the past 15 years, Señor Quintero has taught at a myriad of places: most notably, Clover Hill High School and Virginia Commonwealth University. Nonetheless, he decided to assume the Spanish-teaching position here at Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School because of its prestige and renown.

One discrepancy between high schools in Venezuela and those here in the United States is that amount of opportunities offered to students, specifically, the extracurricular activities, such as band, chorus, the multitude of clubs, and sports teams. Of course, Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School is no exception to this. In addition, whereas discipline might have been a concern at other schools, Maggie Walker students are exceptionally well behaved and “that is what [Señor Quintero] likes most.”

Similarly, Señor Quintero was pleasantly surprised by the amount of tools provided to students here; he only wishes that students would make the most of them. In Venezuela, the students have to pay for their own textbooks and are not provided access to computers in school; whereas, in the United States, those tools are readily given and ready to be utilized.

Even though he loves visiting New York to watch the US Open and travelling to the mountains because of their serenity, there are also a few things from America that Señor Quintero wishes he could bring back home, to his municipality in Venezuela, such as, the security that the government and the police provide to American citizens. Unfortunately, the Venezuelan government is very corrupted and its citizens are not afforded the same assurance. On the other hand, though, Señor Quintero also wishes to bring to America from Venezuela the relaxing ambience and stress-free pace of life; everything in the United States moves so quickly, which is very different from some European and Latin American countries.

In Venezuela, the students have to pay for their own textbooks . . .”

Although Señor Quintero has only been at Maggie Walker teaching for a few weeks now, he can already tell that the students here are like no other – not only do they live up to the name of the school, but also they far exceed expectations in their language abilities.

 

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