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First-year Cibola teacher presents in national webinar

Jose Villasenor A Cibola High School teacher was selected to present as part of a national webinar that addresses the impact of hybrid and distance learning on first-year teachers.

Jose Villasenor, a first-year English teacher at Cibola, will take part along with panelists from Oklahoma and Alabama. The webinar, which is hosted by Learning Forward, a professional learning association for educators, took place Thursday, Sept. 24 from 3-4 p.m.

“Being selected for this event is a huge honor,” Villasenor said. “It means that I am able to represent not just [Yuma Union High School District], but the community that I am happily involved in. Being a first-year teacher, I think any opportunity that comes up to represent my community is important to partake in. 

Villasenor has lifelong ties to the Yuma area. He graduated from Kofa High School and spent time student teaching at Cibola during the 2019-20 school year.

“Being a YUHSD graduate had a huge benefit on how I adjusted with the school,” Villasenor added. “As a student, I knew the bell system, testing, and was familiar with programs within the district. Participating in sports also plays a big role, as it helped me transition from athlete to coach at the school. With all of this familiarity, I felt comfortable and at ease when it came to working as a first-year teacher. I was prepared in the sense that I already knew a routine for the school. I also knew the support was within reach, and I wasn't going to feel alone.” 

According to Learning Forward’s website, the webinar was an opportunity for teachers across the nation to hear from several practitioners about what new teachers are experiencing, how experienced teachers are feeling like new teachers in some circumstances, and what schools and districts are doing to support brand new and novice educators in virtual and hybrid settings.

YUHSD has partnered with Learning Forward for the last decade, including using content-specific professional development and participating as panelists in various webinars. YUHSD Chief Academic Officer Eric Brooks recommended Villasenor to Learning Forward for their most recent event.

Eric Patten