Rosa De Los Santos has recently joined the ranks of Malden High School teachers, by becoming a teacher for the Practical Academics and Community Experience program, also known as PACE, a program for kids with special needs. However, this is not the first job she has had in this area, she has been teaching kids in special education for five years. Principal Dana Brown mentioned that she is not only “very nice,” but also “very qualified,”and that “ [he] had to convince her to work here, the other job she was working at was very good too.” De Los Santos used to work in Waltham, Lawrence, and Lowell, as a special education teacher for a self-contained classroom. She stated that she enjoys working with children who are in special education because “[she enjoys] helping people that really need it.” Another reason for her chosen field was that her son was born with hearing difficulties, which lead her to learn sign language.

Originally, De Los Santos is from the Dominican Republic, and has lived here in the United States for 23 years. “The hardest part,” she confessed, “was learning to speak English, before [she] came here [she] didn’t speak any.” That is why a person she admires is her friend, who also came from the Dominican Republic to the U.S. Like De Los Santos, when her friend came here thirty years ago she [could not] speak a word of English, and is now a successful teacher.
For high school, De Los Santos went to Seward Park in New York. However, she has attended three colleges, Laguardia Community College, Middlesex Community College, and Fitchburg State. In college she studied not only special education, but also psychology and science. She said the one thing she really liked about college was that it was a different experience,” and that she seemed to learn a “little bit of everything.” However, if she did not study to be a special education teacher, she would have liked to become a lawyer, working in the area of criminal justice. De Los Santos explained that shes always loved law, since she was little.

But here at MHS, she is considering that in the future, she would like to get involved with one of our many clubs, dance. She is a professional salsa dancer, and when in high school, she took three years of ballet and modern dance as well. Another one of her hobbies is riding motorcycles De Los Santos smiled, “[She] thinks [she] learned how to when [she] was fourteen.”

One of her major goals in the future is to have a center for young children with disabilities. “For kids who are deaf, or have other disabilities,” she added, “like a pre-school.” While that is a virtuous and ambitious goal that hopefully she accomplishes in the future, it is lovely to have her teaching here at MHS.

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