Ivelisse Santiago-Camacho, a passionate advocate for education and English learners, is making a significant impact in the Irving Independent School District (ISD). With a career spanning 25 years, Santiago-Camacho serves as a Bilingual/ESL Title III Instructional Coach, a role she finds truly gratifying and meaningful.
Growing up in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Santiago-Camacho understood the value of education from an early age. Her mother's insistence on pursuing higher education led her to initially major in general studies. Recognizing her affinity for working with children, Santiago-Camacho eventually earned her bachelor's degree in early childhood education. She later specialized in teaching English, obtaining a master's degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).
Santiago-Camacho's current role is vital, considering that approximately 46 percent of Irving ISD students are English language learners. The Bilingual, ESL, and Language Services department plays a crucial role in supporting these students. Upon enrollment, students undergo assessments to determine their educational level. Instructional Coaches like Santiago-Camacho collaborate with teachers and students, ensuring tailored approaches to learning.
Recognizing the unique needs of English learners, Santiago-Camacho emphasizes the importance of creating a comfortable environment for these students. She believes that with proper language support, every student can succeed. One of her favorite aspects of her role is connecting with students, understanding their stories, and being a strong advocate for their needs.
“It’s so important to get to know them and hear their stories in order to be a good advocate for the students. We are their voice and we show them all that they have support,” she adds. “My support is their success, and I love knowing everyday that I’m going to help somebody. But none of this could be done without my team. We all work to support this community.”