Manteca Adult School
Nominated in 2020
Maria Ayala attended English as a Second Language classes at the Lathrop Education Center under the Manteca Adult School Program. Her dream was to teach children. To achieve this and other goals, Maria says she was totally dedicated to learning English. Whenever asked about her education, goals, work, and life Maria proudly announces, "I love children and I love teaching and helping them."
Faced with financial struggles as well as language barriers, Maria found her way to the ESL classroom at the Manteca Adult School in 1997. After completing the ESL course in 1998, she moved on to attend Delta College, where she received her Teacher's Assistant Certificate in 2000. After her certification was complete, Maria quickly began to work as a Teaching Assistant for the Migrant Pre-School Program.
Maria has always been a proponent of education, language acquisition, religion, and good citizenship. In 2002, she secured a job (with benefits she proudly exclaims) with the Head Start Program as a Teacher's Assistant, where she is still teaching and assists with teaching a wide range of language, art, science and citizenship topics. She assists with and teaches the full-realm of subjects within the Head Start Program. Developing a special bond with underprivileged children, Maria strives to connect with them through compassion, understanding, and a positive attitude. Maria teaches students with great compassion and dedication and serves as an exceptional role model.
Maria has maintained a strong connection with her church where she participates in programs along with teaching and preparing children for their First Holy Communion. She is a strong advocate for all things positive in a child's life and works endlessly to ensure that every child she touches is positively affected by her involvement in their lives.