High school graduate teaches elementary school as part of CMS’s early college program – WSOC TV

CHARLOTTE — A Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools graduate is already making an impact on the students she teaches — and on herself, too.

Landy Solorzano, a CMS student in early college and a teacher’s assistant at Hickory Grove Elementary School, graduated high school early to jump-start her career in education. She graduated in May.

“In CMS, you can start applying for a teaching assistant position as long as you have an associate’s degree or equivalent, or a high school diploma or equivalent. That’s how I got started working in CMS while also being in CMS,” Solorzano said.

Solorzano – of Mexican and Guatemalan descent – is the only Hispanic teacher at Hickory Grove. She said she was trying to learn the different Spanish dialects so she could connect with all the students.

“We have a lot of children who come straight from their country. And they kind of introduce themselves, and they’re like, “Yes, I just arrived from El Salvador two days ago” or “I just arrived six months ago” or “I came during summer,’” Solorzano said.

Most students do not speak English and often do not understand the language.

In next year’s budget, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools requested $3.7 million so it could hire more English-learning teachers and create a special academy that would open in the fall of 2023.

“There needs to be more training,” Solorzano said. “Besides the money, you really have to be there for these kids. I think that’s why I’m so passionate about teaching.

>> In the video at the top of the page, Channel 9’s Gina Esposito spoke to Solorzano about her teaching plans.

(WATCH BELOW: Julius L. Chambers HS student overcomes hurdles to graduate)

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