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Incoming kindergartners get assist from NVHS student

For the first time in Nooksack Valley Schools history, incoming kindergarten students had the opportunity to attend summer school. The chance to get incoming kindergartners into the school building early gives them a leg-up when school starts. It also gave incoming Nooksack Valley High School senior Jorge Hernandez a chance to try his hand at teaching.

“Mostly, I’ve just always had a thing for teaching,” he says about volunteering this summer to help with the incoming kindergartners. “When I was younger, I remember teaching my younger brother everything I was learning. I have always liked teaching.”

Hernandez spent his summer helping the young students at Nooksack Elementary School, getting much-needed work done on his senior project along the way. Cindy Tjoelker, Nooksack Elementary principal, says it was important to get students into the school to help with their transition into the school day.

She says Hernandez was instrumental in that transition.

“I enjoyed it,” he says. “Being with the kids was probably the best part, being in that kind of environment.”

He remembers walking in on the first day of summer school and students were stumped about such things as what getting in line even meant. “They had never been put in that kind of situation before,” he says. “They were learning and we were telling them to do things they had no concept of.” The learning from the first day to the last day was obvious. “I really like seeing them learning.”

Hernandez, who wants to get into education, hasn’t decided his post-high school path just yet following his final year at Nooksack Valley, but he knows this school year will include staying involved with the soon-to-be kindergartners at Nooksack Elementary. With teachers and staff supportive of Hernandez, he expects to check in on the students multiple times each month, saying, “I want to help out as much as I can.”