Position: Special Education, Math & Roadtrip Nation Electives Teacher, Grades 11 & 12
School: Jereann Bowman High School
School District: William S. Hart Union High School District
City, State: Santa Clarita, California
About the Nominee: Jose Rosales was nominated by his principal, Robin Geissler.
Jose Rosales is an outstanding teacher at Bowman High School, a California Model Continuation school. He started at Bowman as a bilingual instructional assistant, working to complete both Special Education and math credentials. As a teacher, Mr. Rosales has profoundly changed the lives of at-risk teenagers by genuinely connecting with them and supporting them in their academic and emotional success. He builds relationships with students through trust, guidance, rigor, accountability, and care. Both of Bowman’s 2016 graduation speakers referred to this dedicated teacher in their speeches:
“The classes taught by Mr. Rosales have taught me that life isn’t about being comfortable,” said Bryce Matthews. “It’s about growing as a person, stepping outside of your comfort zone so you are constantly learning new things. I learned that with enough hard work you can learn any skill. It may come easier to other people, but it will come. I now feel like I can do anything."
“The love the staff at Bowman has for students sparked something so important in me that I hope each and every one of you carries it with you for the rest of your lives,” said Leslie Osorio Espinoza. “As my teacher, Mr. Rosales, always says--be willing to step out of your comfort zone so you can achieve better things. Keep searching for your niche and continue your education. We all need to take that and never let go of it. We can all find something meaningful and make a huge impact on this world, just as the staff at Bowman did for our lives."
Working with students can prove challenging at times, but Mr. Rosales handles even the most difficult student with respect and kindness, while also holding them accountable for achieving their best. He believes in their ability to overcome the barriers of poverty, homelessness and gangs. Bowman faculty say they have seen difficult students with long negative behavior records transform into respectful, collaborative leaders under his guidance. He serves as a strong, positive role model to the students, 75% of whom are boys, many of whom do not have a male role model in their lives.
Mr. Rosales values education and is not afraid of taking on new challenges to grow as a professional and have a positive impact on his students. He wears many hats on campus and embraces his ability to support students. In the past, Mr. Rosales started Bowman’s first basketball team, taught various meaningful electives and was a Pilot Teacher Lead for Special Ed. Algebra. He teaches by example, living out Bowman’s core values: “We believe that all students can learn. We believe that every student deserves opportunities to succeed. We believe that honoring diversity strengthens us. We believe that failure is not an option.”
Mr. Rosales continues with leadership positions on the Bowman staff and teaching night school, a program for Bowman’s 18+ students. In addition, he teaches Bowman’s math intervention classes for those requiring additional assistance. Mr. Rosales is also a respected member of the school’s leadership team. He brings great ideas to the table, and his voice is valued as a collaborator with his peers.
Mr. Rosales connects with his students and gets them to buy into their own education. As a special education teacher, he differentiates and modifies lessons, assignments and projects to meet his students' needs. He maintains a high bar for them to reach, pushing them to succeed in areas they did not feel they could achieve in. Mr. Rosales reaches our general education students in classes like Roadtrip Nation and Life Management. Due to his success with Roadtrip Nation, Bowman has been able to maintain funding through an AT&T grant that recognizes Bowman as an outstanding Roadtrip Nation School.
Mr. Rosales is a well-balanced, enthusiastic and driven life-long learner. He honorably values his position as an educator and takes advantage of every opportunity to help students succeed. It’s what he enjoys and what he does well. He is extraordinary with students, a team player with staff and a well-respected teacher on campus. Bowman has been very fortunate to have Mr. Rosales on its campus teaching at-risk students for the past six years.