District 33 Board of Education is delighted to announce the appointment of a new member to the Board of Education.
Mr. Christian Rivera has been appointed as a new member to the
Board of Education, fulfilling the term of Karina Villa, who was elected as a
member of the Illinois House of Representatives on November 6, 2018.
More About Mr. Rivera
I came to the U.S. nine years ago from Lima,
Peru and have lived in West Chicago for nearly 5 years. I am a
husband and father of two daughters (5 and 7 years old) who both attend school
in District 33. I am a high school
Spanish teacher and enjoy coaching soccer as well as playing soccer.
I have been an active member of this school district since my arrival from Peru in 2010. Although I was not living in this area when I first arrived, I worked for Wheaton Bible Church as an after school teacher in a tutoring program called Puente del Niño serving this community at Wegner Elementary School for almost 3 years prior to moving to West Chicago. In addition, I served as a volunteer soccer coach with Chicago Eagles, a nonprofit organization in West Chicago. Currently I am involved in the District 33 Parent Leadership Team.
Through my experience teaching in the Puente del Niño program at Wegner Elementary School, I discovered that I wanted to become a teacher, especially for a diverse community like West Chicago. One of the reasons I wanted to teach was to help kids from families who share my experience as an immigrant. My first job after arriving to the U.S. was similar of many in this community, working in a factory in West Chicago until my English skills improved enough to work in the field I had received my college degree in back in my home country of Peru (B.A. in Linguistics from the National University of Lima). After going through many challenges that recent immigrants face I wanted to live in a community where I could encourage and be encouraged from others in a similar place in life which is what inspired me to move to West Chicago.
moving here, I have found West Chicago to be a community that welcomes
diversity and has a heart to help provide opportunities to all people. My wife and I value the opportunity our
children have to experience living in a community of diversity and to serve
this community. I have also been able to pursue my Master of Arts in Teaching
at Wheaton College over the last few years which I am close to finishing. Finally,
my two daughters are being blessed by their experiences in their schools here at
District 33 particularly by the advances this district has made to include
one-way dual language in the local elementary schools. I have
also now had the opportunity to have students in my Spanish classes at Wheaton
Academy who have gone through the two-way dual program at Gary Elementary and
Leman Middle School. Due to these
personal experiences, I have gained the passion for continuing to help students
toward biliteracy and multicultural understanding as well as serving families
who have come to this community through similar circumstances as myself,
encountering similar challenges; therefore, I can be a channel to advocate for
the interest of all students and families but particular the families who are
desiring for their children to achieve biliteracy but not at the expense of
reaching their highest potential academically.
Mr. Rivera was sworn into office during the February
7, 2019 board meeting. At this time, the
board was reorganized and Dr. Brenda Vishanoff was elected vice president.
Other members include: Gil Wagner,
President; Phebe Balzer, Secretary; Dave Barclay, Kalpesh Dave and Chad McLean.