Influencer of the Week: Mabel Reyes, Sunset Park Elementary School

Mabel Reyes is the ESOL Compliance Specialist at Sunset Park Elementary and is valued for her work in the school's ESOL program.

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  • | 1:15 p.m. February 5, 2020
  • Southwest Orange
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Mabel Reyes has only been at Sunset Park Elementary for half the school year, but she’s already been recognized for her incredible work in supporting the school’s ESOL community. Before coming to Sunset Park, she worked three years as the ESOL Compliance Specialist at Spring Lake Elementary in Ocoee.

What do you love most about your school? 

There is so much I love about Sunset Park School but let me state that the professionalism of the staff, the caring, and the eagerness of all employees to do their very best is remarkable. This is what I love about the school.

What's your favorite part of your job?

I love my position. I look forward to going to work and find what new challenges await for the day. I enjoy meeting the new families that arrive and encouraging the student and the family. I establish relationships to smooth the transition of adaptation.

What made you want to take on this job?

I had been a classroom teacher for more than 20 years. I wanted to try a different facet of education. This position allows me to be with students, orient teachers and make sure I keep the school in compliance. It is a very diverse position.

What motivates you and pushes you to do your best?

What motivates me is that I love what I do. I want to make sure that my ESOL students are well received to start their new experiences at school. I challenge myself and staff so we can give our very best.

What's the nicest thing a student or faculty member has done for you? 

There have been many beautiful moments in my career but the one that stands out is having a student contact me to thank me because I had reinforced in him the love of writing and as a result he entered a writing contest at the university and won. He said that I nourished the love of writing and he owed his success to me. Faculty members have always been kind to me telling me how happy they are that I am working with them or thanking me with a surprise lunch.

What’s your favorite place to eat? 

My favorite places to eat is Jaleo, Seasons 52, Melting Pot, Fogo De Chao

If you could take a vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why? 

I would love to go to visit Egypt. I am intrigued with their culture. Visiting the pyramids and historical sites has always fascinated me.

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

I would love to be able to teleport. This would allow me to easily be in another place or country in seconds. I could sleep in late, no worries about getting to places late because of traffic. 

Cats, dogs or some other pet?

I have a dog. His name is Draco and he is a white western highlander. He is 13 years old. He loves to sleep and eat at this stage of his life.

What do you like to do in your free time? 

On my free time I enjoy shopping, going to the movies or going to dinner with friends.

If you were trapped on a deserted island and can only take three items with you, what would you bring and why? 

I would take a:

Machete: this will help to cut palm leaves to create shelter or for protection against animals.

Matches: to help start a fire for warmth or cooking until I learn how to set a fire with a stone and stick.

Net: since I am on an island there are rivers and beaches to catch fish and I can also use it to drag branches, fruits etc.

What was your favorite book growing up?

My favorite book growing up was Down These Mean Streets and the Life of Ernest Hemingway. Both of these books explain the hardship and challenges of living or trying to stay alive to defeat the odds while living in poverty or in a lavish lifestyle.

What is your favorite sports team to cheer for?

I love baseball, Go Yankees. It is the team that I always follow and the Mets too.

Do you have any fun talents or hobbies? 

I have various hobbies that I enjoy doing. I love to read in my leisure time or watch TV documentaries from the History channel.

If you could put any four musicians on an alternate Mount Rushmore, who would it be?

My four Mount Rushmore musicians would be: David Foster, Jose Feliciano, Elton John, Prince


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