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Idaho’s Teacher of the Year named to ‘Great Immigrants, Great Americans’ list

Jorge Pulleiro
Jorge Pulleiro

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) – Idaho’s 2021 Teacher of the Year has been named to the Carnegie Corporation of New York’s annual list of Great Immigrants, Great Americans, the philanthropic foundation announced Wednesday.

“To share this recognition among 33 other outstanding naturalized citizens ‘who have enriched and strengthened our nation and our democracy through their contributions and actions,’ is a true honor,” orge Pulleiro said on his Facebook page.

Pulleiro won Teacher of the Year honors for his work leading Wood River Middle School’s Dual Immersion Spanish Language Arts program, a role he held from 2012 through this past school year.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra announced his selection as Idaho Teacher of the Year in September.

“His work and philosophy exemplify the concept of Dual Immersion: English speakers absorb Spanish language and culture, and English language learners help and learn from their peers. His success is illustrated in his students’ engagement and high test scores, professional development for his fellow teachers, and cultural programs, such as Latin dance classes, that inspire great community involvement and support. His passion for learning is contagious.”

This summer, Pulleiro brought his passion for learning to a new job as vice principal of Twin Falls High School.

According to Wednesday’s Carnegie Corporation News release, the Great Immigrants, Great Americans “Class of 2021 represents more than 30 countries of origin and emphasizes service to society, including honorees who are recognized for helping others as medical providers and researchers; as advocates for the disadvantaged, disabled, and disenfranchised; and as changemakers in politics, voting rights, climate change, and teaching. Overall the honorees have a wide variety of backgrounds and careers, including the chairman and CEO of Pfizer; the head of Google’s interactive design; the creator of language-learning software Duolingo; winners of the Pulitzer, Nobel, Vilcek and Beard prizes; and celebrities such as actress Helen Mirren and comedian John Oliver.”

The Carnegie news release highlights 12 of this year’s honorees “working in service to society,” including Pulleiro. In addition to his Teacher of the Year selection and dual immersion Spanish program, the news release notes Pulleiro “is a U.S. Army veteran and standout graduate of the military’s Troops to Teachers program.”

Pulleiro grew up in Argentina and began teaching English in that country when he was 19. He later taught Spanish and Italian at the LDS Missionary Training Center at Brigham Young University. He served six years in the U.S. Army, then returned to teaching through the Troops to Teachers program. He taught Spanish and student leadership at Grant Union High School in Oregon before joining Wood River Middle School.

Idaho’s next Teacher of the Year will be announced in September, chosen from among 38 applicants from schools across Idaho.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho

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