Andrea Arroyo Named EastLake Middle Teacher of the Year

Andrea Arroyo Named EastLake Middle Teacher of the Year

Andrea Arroyo Named EastLake Middle Teacher of the Year
Andrea Arroyo ELM Teacher of the Year

A determined person with a passion for art, people, and life, are just a few ways to describe Andrea Arroyo, EastLake Middle School’s Teacher of the Year. For the past 17 years, Arroyo has dedicated her professional life to education, with the last nine specifically to educating students in the Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD).

“There could not be a job more perfectly suited for me than being a teacher,” says Arroyo. “From the first high fives coming into my class, to the huge smile on my face, students can see how excited I am to teach them.”

Arroyo teaches 7th and 8th grade art at EastLake Middle where she says her students inquisitive minds, desire to learn and happiness, fuels her fire. “I’m aware that my class can help my students be more expressive, resourceful, and confident in their daily lives,” says Arroyo. “That’s what drives me everyday, that’s what inspires me, and that’s what I love doing most.”

Prior to pursuing a teaching credential, Arroyo worked as an Intervention Specialist for the Sweetwater District, where she was able to observe teachers daily routines. Arroyo says over the years as she built relationships with the students she served, more and more she realized teaching was her calling and passion.

Arroyo has taught English, Spanish and Theatre Production, but nothing is more satisfying then teaching art she says. “I love helping people, and I also have an intense passion for the arts. My job combines these two loves. The more I can ignite the passion for art in my students, the more I am helping them.”

Each year the Sweetwater District hosts the Summer Arts Academy, a free one-week learning opportunity offered during the summer to SUHSD students in Visual and Performing Arts classes. Arroyo has participated in this enriching program where she has been able to teach students outside of her classroom the love for art. “With art, I am grateful to spread joy, give students a voice, and create better thinkers,” says Arroyo. “My goal is to see art classes at every school because it’s important and gives students an outlet to be creative and use innovative thinking.”

When asked what advice she would give to someone entering the teaching profession, Arroyo says, “Start off with being yourself. Being your authentic self builds a genuine relationship with students and ultimately, that should be every teachers goal.”

In addition to teaching art, Arroyo is a practicing artist. She spends most of her free time, painting, sculpting and designing. “I know I will advocate for the arts all of my life, says Arroyo. “I’ll do it for both my love of art and for students everywhere who need a creative outlet.”