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West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021 5 months ago

Influencer of the Week: Christine Andujar, Maxey Elementary School

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Christine Andujar is the school’s media clerk and helps students reach their reading goals by getting them to love reading.
by: Amy Quesinberry Community Editor

Christine Andujar, media clerk II at Maxey Elementary School, uses her positive influence to get students to love reading. She helps them set reading goals and creates silly, fun challenges to engage students in the Accelerated Reader program. Students know that she cares by the way she takes time to assist them with tech issues, listens to their stories and keeps their favorite books in rotation. She also serves as a substitute teacher, helps with lunch duty and translated for Spanish speakers.

 

What brought you to your school?

I came to Maxey as part of a transfer, and I am so happy to be here! It's been 10 great years so far!

 

What do you love most about your school?

What I love most about Maxey is the support we have as a staff and, in turn, for our students. 

 

What is your motivation?

When I come to work, I feel as if I'm with my children. The students are great at Maxey. Watching them grow, break out of their shells, sharing their "aha" moments and more are what motivate me. I even get emotional when "Billy" or "Brenda" figure out that reading is fun.

 

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The first rewarding part of my job is helping those students figure out that they really do love to read. A lot of them aren't aware of the different genres a library has to offer, so it gives me great pleasure when they begin to visit twice a week or more for checkouts. The second most rewarding part of it is being there for my teachers and staff. 

 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time I love to read and go to the many beaches of our beautiful state of Florida.

 

Who was your favorite teacher when you were in school? Why?

My favorite teacher in school was my third-grade teacher, Ms. Ragu. She was always positive and caring. The students came from a tough neighborhood. She made sure we always felt like we were important and could be anything we wanted to be. She always told us, “It isn't where you came from but where you are going.”

 

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Why?

When I was a child, I wanted to be a teacher. I saw how much of a difference they made and wanted to be able to have that ability to do the same.

 

What is your favorite children’s book and why?

My favorite children’s book is “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” by Eric Carle. It was one of the first books I ever read that had different page sizes as well as holes from where the caterpillar ate through the food. It simply fascinated me! I loved how he ate and ate and ate throughout the story and became a beautiful butterfly at the end.

 

What are your hobbies?

My hobbies are cooking, coloring, watching classic movies, and collecting sand and seashells from different beaches.

 

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why? 

If I could have a superpower, it would be teleporting so that I can visit my family back home in New York City whenever I wanted.

 

If you could only listen to three bands or artists for the rest of your life, what would they be and why? 

If I could only listen to three artist or bands for the rest of my life, they would be Sade because her music is so calming and mellow; Aerosmith because they can sing anything from rock’n’roll to a ballad and make it their own; and, lastly, there's Prince alone or with the Revolution because he is timeless and is another artist that is very versatile with his work. 

 

How long have you been at your school and with OCPS?

I have been with Maxey Elementary for 10 years and 20 with OCPS.

 

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Amy Quesinberry is the community editor of the West Orange Times & Observer and the Windermere Observer. She was born and raised in Winter Garden, grew up reading the community newspaper and has been employed there as a writer, photographer and editor since 1990....

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