Note from The Fund team: We couldn’t be more excited to share our first video on the news today! We hope you’ll watch the powerful story of Salvador Perez, and read more about him below. If you like what you see, give us a shout on social media so we know to keep these coming!
Born in Mexico City, Salvador Perez immigrated to the United States in his mid-twenties in search of the “American Dream.” He worked in several fields – picking tomatoes in farming fields, building at construction sites and laboring in factories. For nearly thirty years, he has embarked on a journey to fulfill a fierce thirst for knowledge that drives his life.
For Salvador, education was the means to achieve his dreams. He earned multiple degrees to support his ambitions, including a Master’s Degree with a concentration on Bilingual Special Education. Encouraged by these accomplishments, Salvador sought an opportunity to help him lead and advocate for his students: National Board Certification (NBC), the teaching profession’s only national credential.
In Funds 1 and 2, The Fund seeded the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) NBC program to support a large, diverse population of CPS teachers interested in pursuing NBC. This comprehensive program recruited, supported and prepared teachers as applicants and mentors. The Fund collaborated with the program to develop its unique component: a focus on developing cohorts of teachers who undertake the certification effort together and work to improve whole schools.
“When you enter into the process of NBC,” Salvador said, “then you understand that you dare to become a better teacher. You learn about best practices. You see your peers, your mentors, modeling them for you, and they provide the tools, the resources; all the things you need to grow, to be better.”
When Salvador earned his NBC in Early Childhood Education, with a concentration in English as a New Language (ENL) and Bilingual Education, he joined more than 2,000 CPS teachers who achieved NBC and witnessed its power to accelerate student outcomes. “You’re able to transform the educational process to create a greater impact on students’ academic development,” Salvador said.
For the past 17 years, Salvador has refined his instruction, championed his students, and touched hundreds of lives at Boone. Today, Salvador’s pursuit of educational excellence continues; he is working toward his Doctorate in Early Childhood Education. “This time and space,” he said, “is my opportunity to nourish the future of our society.”